by Nathaniel Mackey
Paperback / 64 p. / Poetry
LIMITED EDITION - Cover is letterpress & silkscreened on corded french paper
Lay Ghost, a set of eight poems drawn from Nathaniel Mackey’s intertwined and continuous serial poems Song of the Andoumboulou and “Mu,” epitomizes the roving, ruminative poetics that have continued to animate his “long song,” for nearly five decades. Lay Ghost’s band of sojourners persist in their restless travel, passing, in these poems, through such venues as Wrack Tavern, Mu, the Stick City Ashram, Zar, Rag City, Philadelphia, Lagos, and Scratch Point. Both the travelers and the poems offer fraught dispatches beset by memory, tenuous futurity, momentary impulse, and metaphysical wish, while weaving a sustained oneiric chorus surging with lyrical and mystical play.
Praise for Lay Ghost
In his unmistakable cadence, Mackey writes of a gang of cosmic wanderers moving through memory, thought, and actual world . . . His lines are sensual, mystical, and everyday, like song, like a choir singing in a language you don’t speak but understand
—The Boston Globe
The elation of a boy tugging at his mother’s sleeve but she is crying and the tears collect quickly and evaporate quickly and when he blinks the mother is gone. The desire of salt as sacred and snarling and adrift and consumed and sensing and a growing pile on the side of the road near a pool of muddy water. The abandonment of this world for that world or that world for this world because the prospect of war as a remedy for loneliness calls more often than one would think.
—Entropy Magazine, Required Reading 2017