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In his fourth collection, 13th Balloon, Mark Bibbins turns his candid eye to the American AIDS crisis. With quiet consideration and dark wit, Bibbins addresses the majority of his poems to Mark Crast, his friend and lover who died from AIDS at the early age of 25. Every broken line and startling linguistic turn grapples with the genre of elegy: what does it mean to ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published February 11th 2020 by Copper Canyon Press
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This book made my heart drop many times, but also picked it back up and coaxed it to go on, refueled by glimpses of humor and wonder that often populate the plane of grief. Still, Bibbins is careful to never gloss over or disguise the unsightliness of the injustice that created many of this poem's circumstances, resulting in an essential, elegy-transcending work.
A new poem by Mark Bibbins, "13th Balloon," follows his reflections on the loss of his partner to AIDS more than 25 years in the past. Disjointed and fluid, each stanza is an attempt by Bibbins to piece together what he lost when his partner died, and, as a result, each line feels a bit like sand falling through your fingers at the beach as you feel him trying to reconnect with the presence he lost to the past. Parts discussion on loss and commentary on the AIDS crisis, the poem doesn't shy away ...more