Voice Notes

Adam Golaski

 

ISBN 978-1-956005-82-0       140 pages        $16.00

 

 

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These Voice Notes live in the everyday—drugstore receipts, snickers bars, batteries, ginger ale—but they detail, in their uniquely jotted, truncated language, what it is to be alive, what it is to bear witness to the world: sometimes alone, sometimes with loved others, on a planet that “may snuff us out but... will remain.” These poems carry the spirit of song, and feel as ancient as they do avant-garde. Part Niedecker, part Olson and O’Hara, Voice Notes is a spare yet abundant delight.

     —Laura Sims, author of Looker

 

The notion of the notational—We find ourselves asking, what exactly is a note? As these voice notes suggest, it’s a beginning—and here, an endless series of endless beginnings that we can almost hear singing. These notes record whatever ‘leaps to mind,’ with the leap foregrounded, even choreographed in after-thought, graphically scored across the page. And yet the voice remains, almost but not quite captured; its transcription, while vivid, also records all that we miss when a voice gets arrested by writing. It all amounts to a marvelous contemplation of presence and absence and the crucial role of the voice in both.

     —Cole Swensen, author of Art In Time and On Walking On

 

Adam Golaski’s Voice Notes closes the gaps between voice, speech, writing, and improvisation, and then expands those very gaps with a singular music that pulses and pops, often with lovely, tender-stepping syllables: “love you like light/closed eyes coruscate/light th’view b’hind y’r’i’yelids.” Poems arrive via the backs of receipts (for Osco Drug, the Ritz Carlton, Grolier Poetry Book Shop), or as transcriptions of language spoken into the “voice notes” app. They invoke a sense of “elizabethan” riffing, and ask the “cyptocrystalline question,” all while tracing and tracking a sensual, moving trajectory: “The tongue/pushes us past the world/as words land.”

     —Sawako Nakayasu, author of Pink Waves