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NAMED THE BEST POETRY OF 2020 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES
My Daily Actions, or The Meteorites is the result of a daily investigative writing practice, in which I was worried that a poem invested in the particulars of my life would be uninteresting—that the "ordinary" would be mundane. Instead memory, dreams, and the associative power of the imagination filled each moment with meaning, each tv show I watched or friend I spoke with, each outfit I wore or nail polish color I chose. In these poems, a combination of dread (for something approaching) and anxiety (for what might be approaching but isn't yet known) undid a sense of the present separate from climate change, global racial capitalism, whiteness, and gender-based violence, especially as I wrote as I tried to find out how my own gender fit into the world. The prose poem is the vehicle by which a recording practice ("journaling") meets the associative power of the poem.
"S. Brook Corfman's My Daily Actions, or The Meteorites is one of the most distinctive poetic journals I've read in that it expanded my, already quite "out there," ideas of the ordinary. Welcome to the incredibly true life of poets. Often, being attuned to the everyday means we are also riddled with premonition. Whenever two things interact with each other they exert forces upon each other. That's Newton. Here, Corfman finds a liberating universe in areas of fleeting contact. "To restore old books, the paper can be split in half and reattached with a new archival center...". The dangers to our lives (rigid thinking turned into law, ecological disaster...) are seen as both modern and ancient. Let Corfman be the poet in your ear offering a little magic to thrive."—Stacy Szymaszek
'To move on and through a feeling,' writes S. Brook Corfman, 'a feeling must be honored.' These poems survive the fraught journey from the inner and outermost spaces and leave their permanent marks. Like the still photographs of Cassils’s “Becoming an Image,” each poem offers a new view of the pained Earth, the uncertain self, and the meteoric woman. When '[a] woman died and we cannot even agree she was a woman,' not even the weather can be relied upon. These poems are stark and tender compressions that artfully and achingly reckon with what is imminent, what is private, and what is unknown."—Yona Harvey, author of Hemming the Water (2013) and You Don’t Have to Go to Mars for Love (September 2020).
"'There’s a kind of suspension in a car on a highway, so that to stop feels a great affront.' This line, from near the end of S. Brook Corfman’s new book, describes the poet’s own power to 'gather the propulsive forces' that carry us through worlds lived, felt, and dreamt. From these, the subject emerges as an energy, a force seen in its passing: 'I, the death wail of each passing car; I, a late night but still somehow bright sky.' This is subjectivity in motion, a self in transformation, through emotion’s mutable ground."—Jessica Fisher, author of Frail-Craft and Inmost