The Blue Absolute’s prose poems are hot boxes of lyrical language combusting with daily life. People move and think amidst a flurry of dots and dashes in a constant shift of perspective and action—urban and pastoral, highly figured and fragmented, grieving and dreaming—each poem a compressed but fluid zone of almost psychedelic intensity. The book closes with “Shiver,” an American epic, at once a lament for and vision of a great city on the edge: San Francisco past, present, and future.
"Aaron Shurin’s The Blue Absolute is a wonder composed by one of our most crucial poets who has trained his considerable powers of observation to exceed time and space. Refusing singularity, having long ago stolen 'gender from the fem-bots and dude-droids,' Shurin has steadfastly become our poet of permeability in accord, in concord, with weather, city, lovers. His sharp attention to the everyday gives way to an expansive vision in the ever-changing cosmos that can be found in a room, on a street, at the kitchen table. Don’t miss 'Shiver,' his magisterial paean to San Francisco. In lieu of America’s shrinking whispers of fear and scarcity, we receive the bounty of a maximalist: Mortality, paradise, ecstasy, days of youth, of aging, unfold into a sublime as close and shifting as the very sky."—Gillian Conoley
"The poems in The Blue Absolute are liberating in the way they lean toward sky, breaking ceilings and conjuring the absolute richness of the moment. Shurin is a bright voice in the wilderness, one that illuminates and builds worlds with words."—Scott Neuffer, Shelf Awareness
"Once again, Aaron Shurin proves to be one of America’s greatest poets. The Blue Absolute is a lesson in how to write prose poems that sway, tilt, shiver, quake, torque, pulse, thunder, and dance. Aboard the vessel of this form, Shurin sails behind, in, and under the sensual dimensions of joy and grief, love and loss, youth and age, sex and death. In the end, this book teaches us how to feed our 'beautiful naked grief' to song so that we may live indomitably."––Craig Santos Perez
"Aaron Shurin’s queer sentences have for decades liberated both gender and genre. Few poets wear their syntax with a fit so sensuous, so glamorous, but no one shows up to the poem dressed quite like him in the fabulous finery of 'crimson rebellion and orange confetti.' And no one else insists not only on the poem as a means of enchantment but also as an impassioned expression of enchantment’s political and existential necessity. 'This was essential,' Shurin declares, 'I had to make the walls sing.' And sing they do, as does every syllable in The Blue Absolute, tuned as they are to catch the frequency of a radical erotic music that’s demanded nothing less than total devotion from the poet: 'tear up the book, feed it to the song, feed all to all.' Indeed, each of these ravishing sentences is an offering to all and a model of prosody that elicits from poet and reader alike 'a pose of surrender and a shiver of thanks.'” —Brian Teare