This two-part collection by the beloved, award-winning poet looks at mortality, celebrity, pop culture, poetry, dreams, and otherworldliness in often disarming ways.
"Bedrock at Night" (think The Flintstones) is the title poem of the first section, with tributes to Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Hollywood idols, and more. The second part is an extended Neruda-esque ode to a life cut short: that of singer Buddy Holly.
The Young Poet
I want what you have
only I want it
when I'm young
not when I'm old
David Trinidad is known for the masterful use of popular culture in his poems. His work is also associated with the innovative formalism of the New York School. Originally from Los Angeles, Trinidad lives in Chicago, where he is a professor and Director of Graduate Programs in the Creative Writing Department at Columbia College. Swinging on a Star is his fifth poetry collection with Turtle Point Press. He has also published two collaborative works with the press.
"Reading Swinging on a Star was like watching a great old movie: without warning, what began as effortless pleasure suddenly opened up a world inside of me, a sensual magic lantern of memories. These poems will take you from smiling quietly to reaching for the tissues."—Jennifer Moxley
"Swinging on a Star unfolds with grace, precision, and gentle humor as it probes the possibilities of self-knowledge, dream-knowledge, and words themselves. The magical, ordinary world of things that has been Trinidad's unequaled terrain now finds its singer questing in the realm of human connection and mortality." —Lisa Fishman
"I'm not sure I believe Trinidad's speaker: 'Not all sins / can be confessed // Must keep some secrets / buried // where words / won't reach.' Such a pronouncement feels more like invitation to plunder secrets, excavate with words, confess with sweat. And that is precisely the trickster in Trinidad's collections that readers have come to expect and look forward to. Enjoy Swinging on a Star! (And while you're at it, cuddle up with 'The Fifty-Foot Woman's huge / papier-mâché hand.')"—Kimiko Hahn
''The afterlife of fame / is dark.' David Trinidad understands this better than any poet this side of Emily Dickinson. 'O float me to Oblivion / in my swan bed.' If at times our prospects look bleak, we are nevertheless reminded, again and again throughout these minimalist meditations on immortality, that the afterlife of language is poetry."—Suzanne Buffam