Award-winning essayist and poet Rowan Ricardo Phillips presents a bracing renewal of civic poetry in Living Weapon. . . . and we'd do this againAnd again and again, without everKnowing we were the weapon ourselves, Stronger than steel, story, and hydrogen.
-- from Even Homer Nods
A revelation, a shoring up, a transposition: Rowan Ricardo Phillips's Living Weapon
is a love song to the imagination, a new blade of light honed in on our political moment. A winged man plummets from the troposphere; four NYPD officers enter a cellphone store; concrete sidewalks hang overhead. Here, in his third collection of poems, Phillips offers us ruminations on violins and violence, on hatred, on turning forty-three, even on the end of existence itself. Living Weapon
reveals to us the limitations of our vocabulary, that our platitudes are not enough for the brutal times in which we find ourselves. But still, our lives go on, and these are poems of survival as much as they are an indictment. Couched in language both wry and ample, Living Weapon
is a piercing addition from a "virtuoso poetic voice" (Granta