Dennis Hinrichsen’s This is Where I Live I Have Nowhere Else to Go is a formally adventurous, cinematic collection of poems about everything at once—father, mother, family, the brutality of American history, the Pulse nightclub shooting, Alzheimer’s—all seen through the successive lenses of science, music, language, arcane history, photography, and film, with cameos by Rilke, Sally Mann, Whitman, Coltrane, Blake, Janelle Monáe, Donne, Bosch, and The Shadows of Knight. These poems are meditations, brief quests for somewhere to stand in the tumultuous world. “Provision / us / a mercy” the poet writes, “more steadfast / // more transcendent // than this child’s breath.”
Praise for This is Where I Live I Have Nowhere Else to Go.
Hinrichsen’s language is itself an immersion. “It bubbles out//this music//in pure abandon” into a punctuation-free “ricochet cinema” with intense haiku-like close-ups and lines that leap from margin to margin following “little warps in gravity.” … It is a pleasure to get lost in this poet’s soundscapes, to explore “loneliness and / or holiness” to be “held…carefully” and, like a sleeping monkey on the other side of the world, stir “to rub (our) eyes in astonishment & wonder.”
–Keith Taylor, author of The Bird-while
Dennis Hinrichsen’s terribly beautiful new book embodies an unpalatable truth: when the body that bore us dies, a part of our body dies too. From then on, mortal and mortified flesh repeatedly proves itself a defenseless envelope—at the Pulse nightclub massacre; in the “great hall of dying men” Whitman haunts during the Civil War; in six harrowed meditations on photographer Sally Mann’s studies of human decomposition, among many other locations and dislocations. … This book teems with heart and mind, and will leave readers breathless.”
–Steven Cramer, author of Listen
“[Box of Light with Keats in it] [& an iPhone] [& a Boy],” Blackbird.
“Nights of Zhivago,” The Adroit Journal.
“[Brain Scan] [Free Jazz Cut],” with Dylan Rogers.
“[Body Farm] [Soul Photograph] [Filtered Light],” with Suzanne Artemieff.
“[Body Farm] [Soul Photograph / Double Exposure] [Late Light],” with Suzanne Artemieff.
“[Body Farm] [Soul Photograph] [Mirrored Image],” with Suzanne Artemieff.
[q / lear] is available at Green Linden Press and from the author.
Praise for [q / lear]
[q/lear] concerns itself with the big issues of mortality and madness—like the play it uses as a backdrop. While some of these poems refer to bodies in decay, the poems themselves build, accrete, and pulse with Hinrichsen’s trademark restlessness and energy. As a great poet of the soul as well as the flesh, Hinrichsen explores the primordial dance between the human spirit and our vulnerable bodies while making us experience it anew.
—Sue William Silverman, author of If the Girl Never Learns
Part Madmen, part King Lear, part Whitman, all fractal, the poems in [q /lear] play with prosody, family mythos, and the notion of America and motherhood during the culturally-shifting sixties. In the character of Q we have mother/housewife/woman-who-desires-for-more, and Hinrichsen brings to life her struggles with pathos and in a formal way that reflects her own challenges. So many times I returned to these pages, haunted by the beautifully and brutally honest lines. Hinrichsen takes risks but never alienates the reader because the voice in these poems is intimate and inviting, even as the form of the poems and book challenges us. These are poems for the age, engaging the questions of identity and desire and changing mores and challenging our expectations without wanting to leave anyone behind. About these poems, perhaps it is best put this way:
it bubbles out // this music //
mouth kissing burned earth // shape of fire just before the singing
—Gerry LaFemina, author of The Story of Ash
As I watch these short films, these poems, unfold // frame by frame // like so many stunning still shots passing, I know the poet-musician-photographer-filmmaker at work here, Dennis Hinrichsen, is pointing his heart’s camera at all the guts and ordinary glory of light, at the bleeding surfaces of our ordinary lives as did Sally Mann, whose photos are reference for some of these poems—(“tincture of Vicks on a pillowcase // pile of week old clothes in a heap”). But, like Mann, Hinrichsen transforms the banal and brutal into beauty, “the squeaking chains into birdsong,” in this chapbook built as a five-act haunting narrative, in which Q, the mother and heart of this play, sees the world, like King Lear, through an ever more splintered lens. A poet ever marking new territory, Hinrichsen turns heartbreak into hymn, and shows us again why he is one of our sharpest poets of the moment.
—Robert Fanning, author of Severance, Our Sudden Museum, American Prophet, and The Seed Thieves
“[Body Farm] [Soul Photograph/Double Exposure] [Late Light],” Salamander.
“Radium City,” Solstice.
Praise for Skin Music
“The kingdom of a lake harvested for ice, Rilke’s zombie angels, radioactive time aging the electric heart—the poems in Skin Music tantalize the ear while jumpstarting the body. Here the heart, that overtaxed organ, gets nailed to its grief again and again, but that doesn’t mean this book refuses wonder. In fact, it insists: “blood wants an angel but all it has is Monday.” Musical to the point of breathlessness, Hinrichsen’s lines remind us that even in death, a body is still journeying, still becoming all it will be. These poems are about these journeys—these rivers, these floods, these baptisms, this kiss a mother bestows on a child’s face like a cure, this man’s hand lain on his dead mother’s leg, this cat resting its living weight on an ankle, the lightest of tethers in a flood-wrung world.”
“Less the Mark Twain of popular imagination than the Harry Crews of unflinching memoir, Hinrichsen populates Skin Music with bullies and molesters, the ‘shard-splintered wreckage’ filtered now through knowledge of the poetry of Celan, the music of Cage, and the art of Kline. ‘Shook foil—that’s what a river is.’ His search for belief beyond the past, for ‘the godface’ in whichever incarnation it may reside, deepens these richly textured yet starkly beautiful poems.”