New from Blue Hour Press is an e-book of poems by Christopher Cheney (featuring photographs by Estelle Srivijittakar) called They Kissed Their Homes. They’re really something, these poems and photos, apart and together. The whole thing is like a violin you left on the stove and spilled coffee grounds over, which you feel bad about, since it’s not even your violin: you’re just keeping it safe for a guy who showed up at your door late one night smelling half-fried eggs and half-chicory, asking if you would be a brother and hide his fiddle. You don’t really want to, but he keeps shoving the case at you in nervous little here, here‘s, so finally you take it and leave it in your kitchen. He never comes back. But after a while you can’t seem to get the moon out of your refrigerator, and you start to feel like a dog’s around, hiding, watching you, doing that sleek coat shiver, trapped and can’t stop.
Cheney’s one of my favorite poets of disquiet. He’s like a sharpened eyelash. The real deal. Here’s the official blurb from Blue Hour Press about the book, plus some excerpts after the break.
Christopher Cheney’s They Kissed Their Homes is an album of everyday landscapes foregrounded with disquiet. Like warm Polaroids, the poems develop clause by clause; their subjects—the mundane, extraordinary, savage—colorize and sharpen; a nameless, faceless population pulls into focus. Together with the work of photographer Estelle Srivijittakar, Cheney’s declarative snapshots gain collaborative energy, grow even more lucid. The result is a catalogue of the countless small oddities of our American quotidian.