Four Reincarnations

Four Reincarnations

Four Reincarnations, by Max Ritvo. Milkweed Editions, 2016. 96 pages, $15.

At just twenty-five, Max Ritvo leaves behind a small but incredibly accomplished body of work in his debut collection, Four Reincarnations. Ritvo fought a long battle with …

Sirens

During the weeklong first-year orientation activities at the University of Nairobi, freshers are constantly reminded that this university is the best university in Africa, south of the Sahara and north of the Limpopo. This phrase is used to confirm the …

Portrait of an Empty House

1.

The house pulls itself apart from the inside out, strips itself of its own meaning. It vomits pots and pans, flatscreen TVs and sport coats, books, tools from the garage; bleeds family pictures and paintings by George’s father; weeps …

The Absolute Gravedigger

The Absolute Gravedigger

The Absolute Gravedigger, by Vítězslav Nezval. Translated from the Czech by Stephan Delbos and Tereza Novická. Twisted Spoon Press, October 2016. $23, 214 pages.

Vítězslav Nezval (1900-1958) dreamt of changelings; he saw mutations where others saw stability. Square-faced and …

Four Psalms

The Lord is my shambles; I shall not wait.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastimes: he leadeth me inhale the still’s vapors.
3 He retorteth my soul: he luggeth me over the paths of righteous indignation …