"Reaper knocked me flat with its utter breathlessness. . . . McDonough paints a stark picture of a soulless tomorrow ruled by the technologies of convenience—a tomorrow we just might stop if we could."—Patricia Smith
These dark, straightforward poems showcase the power of technology by painting a vivid picture of America's expanding drone program and the havoc we wreak—and then ignore—around the globe. McDonough offers the past, present, and future as non-linear timelines, and explores how the intersection between man and machine is starting to blur, and how we're losing qualities essential to being human.
From "My Sister Wants to Buy My Dad a Drone For Father's Day":
What a pain
in the ass to have a sister like me,
who won't just fork over her share
of the dough. Who has to feel dumb
ways about things, distracted by names
like DarkStar, Scan Eagle, Shadow,
Wasp Block. Who doesn't want a toy
airplane with a camera? My dad is not going
to shoot suspected insurgents, hover
over his neighbors' homes for days.
Technology is fungible. Also
really cool. Drones don't kill people,
people et cetera. People drown
in water. But I still want to drink it.
Jill McDonough is the winner of a 2014 Lannan Literary Fellowship and three Pushcart prizes. She's received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center, the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, and Stanford's Stegner program, and taught incarcerated college students through Boston University's Prison Education Program for thirteen years. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Slate, The Nation, The Threepenny Review, and Best American Poetry. She directs the MFA program at UMass-Boston and 24PearlStreet, the Fine Arts Work Center online.