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Nearer to Never
Poems
Nearer to Never
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R. S. Mason - Author
Excelsior Editions
Price: $16.95 
Paperback - 104 pages
Release Date: September 2015
ISBN10: N/A
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-5894-6

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

FINALIST - 2017 Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize, presented by Utica College

A poetic examination of what’s waiting just beneath every day experience.


As the title suggests, the poems in R. S. Mason’s Nearer to Never paradoxically comprise a book of the unmanifest, a poetic examination of what’s waiting just beneath everyday experience. Recalling Blake, Baudelaire, and Eliot, Mason addresses the innately sacred, melding philosophy, aesthetics, and Buddhist precepts into a lyrical work that is truly modern and avant-garde.

Rendered in a straightforward lyrical style, the poems are oddly comprehensible, at times darkly humorous. The language is fresh, elemental, and ludic; the writing is clean, direct, and empowered. Some poems wrestle with the conclusion that life reduces itself to some mere, otherworldly absence; while others reveal the false prison of the ideal, either humanistically or religiously constructed.

The poems invite a reader’s most intimate aesthetic engagement, through the technique of radical doubt or, in the Buddhist tradition, “beginner’s mind”—whereby each poem unlocks. In his debut, Mason drives poetry beyond the well-worn schisms established in the previous century, successfullyshowing that the irreconcilable can cohere, and the inexpressible can, at the most, be sketched.

“Zip”

I will not ascend on an engine
A bobble scope, a space-kit

Nor breathe pure oxygen
As I rumble through the finite

What’s indestructible
Is fragile’I would utter
In my voice-box!

Rambling through
The depth and breadth

Without ever
Blasting off

R. S. Mason lives in upstate New York.


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Table of Contents

Preface

Though I Try So Hard

Entering White

Proper Acts of Vision

Each Time

Flicker

Carousel

Hopper Reconsidered

Deluxe

Ready?

Emily Figueroa

Field Work

Obsolete Systems

Construction

Foreign Planet

Sketch Book

On Mercury!

Hero with One Wing

Aesthetik 1

Bees

Romantique

Icarus Ignored

How It All Goes Down

It

Nearer to Never

Ode to the Material

Hard Luck

Odd Hats

Without You God Is Weak

Beautiful Room

Sorrows of an Ant

Poof!

Exteriors

From the Car

The Unveiling

Love between Phantoms

Cogito

Let X = X

Open Heart Surgery

An Incomplete Account

The Head of a Dog

Experience

In the Gallery of Objects

Graven Images

My Name Is Jack

Invalids

Lost My Shit

Crow Geist

Tea Time

Wirklich (Real)

Harmonicum Nova

Grocery Store Spectacle

Zip

Necessary Violetions

Mrs. Kravitz

Hospital

Inter-world

Blur

In the Eyes of –X

Storm

Robot Theater

Magnitudo

Small Apartments

Unified

Samadhi at Pep Boys

Eternal Return of the Same

Love Poem

Funeral for a Dot

To the Future

Edwin the Maker

Postulate F5

The Super Thing

Shipwreck

Was That You?

Art of the Impossible

Let’s Volunteer!

Local Conditions

Kettle Drummer

A Note

Afterword by David Appelbaum


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