Epic Heroes

Forget Beowulf. You can watch Beowulf. He’s in the front row wedged into a desk, hunchbacked over a Boston butt purchased to help a child with autism swim with dolphins on Dauphin Island. No utensils. His mighty penis fingers


Suppose you came to hear about the day Dr. Wu made himself a victim in the classroom. Not too long ago after his wife had left him, taking with her their only daughter for a job in the Catskills. Beach


is a perfect facsimile of human
anatomy, its hood fronted by a white
frill, its two orange flaps labial,
its tube an invitation. A slurry
of blackbirds shakes up; something
is fruiting in the kudzu. Goldfinches
spin, yellow ricochets in …



Remainsby Jesùs Castillo. McSweeney’s, 2016. $20, 109 pages.

Jesùs Castillo’s first full-length poetry collection, Remains, is a stark collage of voice, nature, and the breakdown of culture, a world in which “the bombs had fallen with the majesty …


We drive through the intense sun,
and the fields listen. The dead
stand and wave, but we don’t
see them in the glow
of our optimism. The ending
is already written, but we
have not been told. And the dead…