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We Meant to Bring It Home Alive

4.72  ·  Rating details ·  18 ratings  ·  10 reviews
From astronauts drifting lost through space to whalers hauling dragon weight through dark waters to fossil hunters of the 19th-century Bone Wars, the voices within this poetry collection all seek one uniting thing: connection. The epic sweep of Moby Dick meets Space Age exploration inside the lyrics of Bowie songs on the cusp of an apocalypse, all within the forgotten drea ...more
Paperback, First, 104 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Alternating Current Press
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Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As someone who knows the author well, I realize my review is not worth much. However, I've always loved the way Armin brings unexpected imagery and ideas to life in his poetry, and seeing this collection brought together as a whole body of work is truly fantastic, with themes that show up, disappear, and return through widely different poems throughout the book. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next. ...more
Kevin Catalano
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, these are breathtaking, mindblowing, heartpumping poems. Extraordinary how this is Tolentino's debut since he composes with the confidence and wisdom of a master. ...more
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I haven't been this excited about a book of poetry since A.E. Stallings' "Like." Tolentino writes in both free verse and rhyming forms, but does the latter in such a way that you aren't even aware of the constraint, so artfully does he fulfill its expectations. His themes are epic--mass extinctions, apocalypse, being marooned or set adrift. We are the ones lost in the universe, lost in time, lost to mania, lost as sinners are lost. He writes with great compassion for the alien, the exile, and th ...more
Adam Shafer
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So much of this lonesome absurdist collection feels haunted by regretful ghosts, damned to relive their personal apocalypses for eternity. An eternity, the author reminds us in so many crushing ways, that is both dark and endless.

This shouldn’t suggest this collection is dour or bitter. There’s a live wire of crackling wit running throughout. Tolentino doles out whimsical irreverence in cruel, calculated intervals like a winking experimenter who built a maze for his subjects without exits. They
Benjamin Gorman
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This collection demonstrates masteful skill. It's divided into thirds, the first a kind of science fiction story told in poems, the second a more loose collection, and the third themed around a critical but not knee-jerk examination of God. All of them are fantastic. The first is a demonstration of what science fiction should be; a means to talk about so much more than genre tropes. The second is filled with gems. And the third will haunt anyone willing to wrestle with a universe that may be the ...more
Chris Crowley
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I met Armin through a mutual friend and sought out his book of poems. I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure in reading. Fresh, inventive - a trip that took me out of my usual haunts into places I wouldn't otherwise have gone. Thanks, Armin. ...more
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is beautiful. Between moments that pull you in and dissolve all barriers between you and the page, and phrases that you stop and repeat to yourself, smiling, to imprint them in your memory, it is such a good use of your time.
Leah Angstman
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am the editor of this book, so of course I'm biased, but holy crap is it good. Haunting, lonely, hopeful, and lovely all in one breath. I've just never read anything that compares to it. ...more
Sep 12, 2019 added it
Shelves: poetry
"Most every species that once drew breath
is fossil now, or oil. If I'm to die
in this latest Apocalypse, what would my body
ignite? Whose escape could I fuel?

Wyoming, too, is an unmarked grave
and the wind shears off an inch
each year to flash the bones of another
failure felled by the hard hand of cataclysm.
All my escape routes are paved
on the backs of a billion extinctions."
Christina Butcher
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pnw-authors, poetry
A surprisingly relevant poetry book to a time when we all carry apocalyptic fears and anxiety with us as we move through our days. This book is very much about natural history, extinction, and the mythology and storytelling encased in religion. Definitely worth reading. I enjoyed it very much!
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