[04/13/2021] Skin by Robert VanderMolen

[04/13/2021] Skin by Robert VanderMolen

Regular price $16.00 Sale

Milkweed Editions, paperback

Publication Date: April 13, 2021

Publisher Marketing: The first collection in over a decade from a master of his craft, Skin presents us with poems that find richness in life's smallest moments.

Twisting from overheard conversation to the landscape of Michigan to the precise inner life of their speaker, the poems of Skin are as carefully traced as the trim on a bedroom wall. These are poems that drift with subtle deliberation, "thoughts that slide / into notice, like hunger." And they are full-sensory experiences, shaded by Robert VanderMolen's particular care to everyday curiosities: "rain the sound of dropping dead insects," "the smell of dog sweat / on a back seat in summer," a curious bear interrupting a soccer game.

VanderMolen's lines make their intricate moves with utter clarity of vision, and find their momentum in the dialogue of ordinary people. These characters quip, argue, and banter in bars and on art museum steps. They talk past each other--one woman revealing the textures of her dreams and worries, while another comments blithely on a train that's moving too slowly. And, as seen through VanderMolen's eyes, they fully grant us the gift of attention to the surprises, humor, and idiosyncrasies of our lives.

By turns beguiling, undramatically tender, and abrupt, Skin builds a nuanced portrait of a single life in a singular place, surrounded by fresh water and buried in the snow.