D. Nurkse   The Fall  
D. Nurkse  
Read an Interview with D. Nurkse

Read Three Poems by D. Nurkse

  D. Nurkse, a poet long admired in the smoky biosphere of the New York poetry scene, has published his seventh collection, The Fall. Divided roughly into three chapters of lyric poems, the book addresses three phases of life and the roles negotiated--only sometimes successfully--by the narrator in each. The first third consists of unembarrassed examinations of childhood. The boy understands that there are parts to be played and believes that if played correctly they will introduce tangible designs and meaning to an otherwise puzzling life. Though frequently tempted toward more abandoned (and thus more hazardous) behavior by a friend named Lucky, he believes that life will always be molded as easily as the game of baseball he plays. Even if he fails to be a player of excellence (he "throws like a girl"), he can take comfort in the recognition that there are prescribed rules and measures for conduct. The nuclear chapter of the book concerns marriage and honeymoon, the moment of setting out with a new person into a new world, the pleasant belief that there can be another beginning, a second childhood of sorts. But this journey proves no less riddled with problems: "If marriage solves sex / what cures marriage?" The final phase of the book is one framed by considerations of premature death, the muddle of middle age, the confusion of illness and medication. An introduction such as this can only begin to reveal the psychological and stylistic intricacy of The Fall, all the exits unlocked, phrases rephrased, life balanced between the erotic and moribund, despair against hope. Read poems from the book, as well as an interview with Nurkse, on masculinity, his favorite writers, and what he would do with the $100 million recently given to Poetry magazine.

--Ernest Hilbert
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  Photo credit: Elena Seibert

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