Aaron Kunin’s poems are literally outrageous. They are 1) a: exceeding the limits of what is normal or tolerable, b: not conventional; 2) violent or unrestrained in action or emotion; and (sometimes) 3) offensive. At the same time they are filled with the proper concerns of poetry. They are interested in divinity and accident, physical beauty and romantic love. They are inventive but not narrowly so. They are cutting without being ironic; they have pathos without sentimentality. In short, Kunin’s poems belong to the great tradition of the tragicomic. Jack Spicer once wrote that “A really perfect poem has an infinitely small vocabulary,” and Aaron Kunin has outrageously written an entire book using no more than two hundred words. In other words, he has created a drama for two hundred players, a world teetering brilliantly between containment and chaos. Anything can happen here—and does.
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