Best poetry book from 2015

JollimoreTroy Jollimore’s book, Syllabus of Errors, is my favorite new book of poems from last year. He’s a serious poet, and I find his work brave and lyrical.  He’s also not afraid to poke fun at himself.

Here’s a sample:


No more swamp existence for you, with all
its pleasures, all that rooting around
in forgotten quarters for forgotten nickels.
No more meretricious jazz piano
eliding your way between gross destinations,
unreviewed memoirs by former conundrums,
videos of venal comebacking musicians
going viral on the spiral screen. No more
slowly starving cathedrals into being,
no more convalescing by feel, no more
nosing out the neglected harmonica part
that was meant to fluff out the flourish but got
buried so deep in the mix you could get
the bends coming up from that. No more
lonesome nights on the couch of the cute girl who
will never think of you as anything but
“that sad guy that sleeps on my couch sometimes.”
No more paid lunch hours reciting quasi-
pornography in limbic pentameter, no more
coughing up eloquently Venn-diagrammed
faux-Whitmanesque vibes. No more driving everyone
nuts insisting that the less frequently
listened-to B-side is where the genius really lies.
No more perturbing the air with your smooth
but inscrutable pantomime gestures. No more
bop bop bopping along the Via
Negativa while grasping the dangling string
of a helium balloon bouquet with all
thy might, as if it somehow really mattered,
as if, if you could only hold on…
No more lamenting the precipitous decline
of the panic industry, the sudden disappearance
of the Flightless Dough, the unforeseen renaissance
of the infidels with their zinfandels. No more
making goddamn sure that your goddamn verbs
agree with your goddamn nouns, no more
assaulting strangers with spray cheese in
the street to protest your parents’ politics.
No more wet dreams, no more dry ice, no more
dry heaves, no more wetware, no more sad sacks,
the anti-world has given you notice,
there’s no more going going, no more coming coming back.

Troy Jollimore

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