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Black Aperture
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summary

In his moving debut collection, Matt Rasmussen faces the tragedy of his brother's suicide, refusing to focus on the expected pathos, blurring the edge between grief and humor. In "Outgoing," the speaker erases his brother's answering machine message to save his family from "the shame of dead you / answering calls." In other poems, once-ordinary objects become dreamlike. A buried light bulb blooms downward, "a flower / of smoldering filaments." A refrigerator holds an evening landscape, "a tinfoil lake," "vegetables / dying in the crisper." Destructive and redemptive, Black Aperture opens to the complicated entanglements of mourning: damage and healing, sorrow and laughter, and torment balanced with moments of relief.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-7
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. I
  2. pp. 1-2
  1. Trajectory
  2. pp. 3-12
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  1. After Suicide
  2. pp. 4-5
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  1. The Orange Leaves
  2. pp. 6-7
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  1. 747
  2. pp. 8-9
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  1. The Wave
  2. pp. 10-19
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  1. And God Said
  2. pp. 11-12
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  1. I Am Not a Poem
  2. pp. 13-22
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  1. Tom Black
  2. pp. 14-23
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  1. Field with Whales
  2. pp. 15-24
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  1. After Suicide
  2. pp. 16-25
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  1. In Whoever’s Hotel Room this Is
  2. pp. 17-26
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  1. Vacation Cage
  2. pp. 18-27
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  1. Monet as a Verb
  2. pp. 19-28
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  1. We’re Not the Stars, We’re What’s Between Them
  2. pp. 20-29
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  1. Seed
  2. pp. 21-30
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  1. Chekhov’s Gun
  2. pp. 22-31
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  1. II
  2. pp. 23-24
  1. Elegy in X Parts
  2. pp. 25-40
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  1. III
  2. pp. 41-42
  1. Outgoing
  2. pp. 43-52
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  1. Land O’ Lakes
  2. pp. 44-53
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  1. A Poem in which Leaves again Figure Prominently
  2. pp. 45-54
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  1. Burial
  2. pp. 46-55
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  1. Aperture
  2. pp. 47-56
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  1. The Moon
  2. pp. 48-57
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  1. Notlove Poem for the Fence at the End of the Field
  2. pp. 49-58
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  1. O
  2. pp. 50-52
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  1. Phone
  2. pp. 53-62
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  1. An Uncertain Prayer
  2. pp. 54-63
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  1. Your Body Is a Temple Is a Body Again
  2. pp. 55-56
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  1. O Cremulator
  2. pp. 57-58
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  1. After Suicide
  2. pp. 59-60
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  1. Reverse Suicide
  2. pp. 61-70
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  1. A Horse Grazes in My Shadow
  2. pp. 62-71
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 63-64
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