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November 1, 2017 / barton smock

review of Kaveh Akbar’s {Calling a Wolf a Wolf}


Calling a Wolf a Wolf
poems by Kaveh Akbar
Alice James Books, 2017


review by Barton Smock


It has been hard, of late, for me to read poetry because my son is getting older and his sickness, younger. I know my son is not his body, but his body is a crash course in logistical identity. I read Kaveh Akbar’s book, Calling a Wolf a Wolf, with its fleeing of density and with its character-driven desertions, and found proof of place. It kept me from sleep’s rootless sideshow, and called to me from its phone booth made of wax. I wrote this note to myself after the first read-through: if blood spoke, or saw- have I ever seen so much person?

I will not quote from the book here, or give guidance from this point, as sharing is sometimes an erasing. I do not think my own appropriations…

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