What do we fear? Hard to say. Or, vaguely, disease, decrepitude, dissipation. Whatever it is, we work to keep fear in abeyance. Or we repress it, suffering the consequence of our anxiety to face it. What to do? Write something. In the elegant poems in Michael Autrey’s first full-length collection, our fear is a mysterious remnant disturbingly augured in fizzling dream fragments, birds’ predatory cunning, and the glorious extravagances of great art. And these limn for us what we fear most, “a future, in which we are scanned like a text.”
Michael Autrey was raised in Oregon, attended schools in France, Greece and his home town of Portland. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago. He has lived and worked in Prague, Geneva, New York, Washington D.C., rural Paraguay and south India. He resides in Chicago. -- John Tipton's Surfaces (2004) and his translation of Sophocles' Ajax (2008) were both published by Flood Edtions. A new collection, Paramnesia, and a translation of Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes are forthcoming from Flood.
Seven Against Thebes: Three Choral Passages: An Excerpt
Whom did gods so admire at their altars? Who more honored in assemblies than this Oedipus, who freed Thebes of the Sphinx? That sound mind lost its bearing in deviant marriage, in wrong thoughts. Such appalling acts-- gouged his eyes with his own patricidal hand. To his children he fed malignance, the bitter tang of binding curse: Take in hand what you inherit. Fast Furies will finish it.
John Tipton is the founder and director of Chicago Poetry Project. His poems have appeared in LVNG, Poetry New York, Nedge, and elsewhere. His “52 Surfaces” was published as a broadside in the LVNG Supplementals series, and Cello Entry Chapbooks published clause automata. His books Surfaces and Ajax are available from Flood Editions. He is the publisher of Verge Books and lives in Chicago.
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