Set in San Francisco, Brocken Spectre examines the way the past presses up against the present. The speaker, raised in the wake of the AIDS crisis, engages with ideas of belatedness, of looking back to a past that cannot be inhabited, of the ethics of memory, and of the dangers in memorializing and romanticizing tragedy.
“Harnessing new visions from the traditions of Mark Doty and James L. White, Rancourt crystalizes the modern sublime through intelligent, complicated, and elegiac modes of inquiry through the plights and heights of the human body. Through embodied desires both difficult and triumphant, these poems recast their dreams with a deft touch of wit, poise, and an openness for transformation equal to their ambition to preserve the past and its ghosts. Bravo.”