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Jake Levine "The Threshold of Erasure"
25 pages
letterpressed raw board cover w/ vellum bellyband
Reclaimed Pantone test-sheet hinge/spine
10 bucks + shipping



The Threshold of the Erasure is a place where monsters teach people how to wear their lover for a coat, a place where sirens and golden parrots still grace the treacherous waters of a sea-adventure, and where rhyme and metaphors of the fantastic exist together:

out back the monster on mescaline swallows a car / it’s not hard
to be a monster / to yes instead of no/ throw back carcasses
stuffed with angels / the princess sad as sequins fallen from a dress /
the ibuprofen to ingest / this many to undress / morning hung-over

This work, a sequence of 16 poems, travels in and out of narrative scenes while primarily focusing on a lyrical presentation of the speaker’s observations. Sometimes, it grows unclear whether the speaker is the monster or the victim. Regardless, many times the speaker communicates for both:

dear mob / sorry he was rowdy on the floor
with his hull injured by the monster he had to drink / he had to murder
historically speaking he had to eat 6 cheeseburgers / has to commit
to mistake/ with repeated resolve

Constantly tilting between melancholy and the humor that can accompany it, the poems use their rhythm and melodic cadence to create space for striking images of disappointment and mortality:

I put her in a mink coat in a bed of cauliflower / a final wish
for the flowers to feel better/ melted velveeta for disease /
sweet n sour for the dark spaces / unleash the dog
and let it romp on / the holes maintain their stain

Though motifs may recur throughout this self-contained lyric sequence, “nothing repeats,” instead, rhymes, sound schemes, and tropes develop these poem’s thematic drives. Or as the poet writes,

in the field where nothing repeats there is rhyme
and with rhyme / retribution