In his moving debut collection, Matt Rasmussen faces the tragedy of his brother s suicide, refusing to focus on the expected pathos, blurring the edge between grief and humor. In Outgoing, the speaker erases his brother s answering machine message to save his family from the shame of dead you / answering calls. In other poems, once-ordinary objects become dreamlike. A buried light bulb blooms downward, a flower / of smoldering filaments. A refrigerator holds an evening landscape, a tinfoil lake, vegetables / dying in the crisper. Destructive and redemptive, Black Aperture opens to the complicated entanglements of mourning: damage and healing, sorrow and laughter, and torment balanced with moments of relief.
Louisiana State University Press