Stately and majestic, yet scuffed with wear and disillusion, the poems of Smaller Hours mount the sky like columns and fora of some archaic ruin. Through these ancient halls, Kevin Shaw tracks Eros, clearing away the rubble and polishing the marble, along the way exploring queer ways of keeping time. Music and movies, clocks and inventors populate these poems. History casts a shadow over all.
Kevin Shaw's debut collection is a tour de force of control and grace; musical lines anchored by powerful rhythms dance into the reader's ear. The speakers of these lyrics encounter Nijinsky in a waiting room, Ovid at the laundromat, or re-enact a devastating flood after a night of drinking. From a mixtape full of quarter-century-old regrets, to the sensuality of a harmonica buzzing against pursed lips, to the violence and hope of Stonewall, Smaller Hours collapses the past with the present and the personal with the public, taking a sideways glance at historical figures — inventors, poets, movie stars — from across a gay bar's crowded dance floor.
Pub date: September 26, 2017