She has made him into a writer, he writes.
But who is she?
Reading this collection, you’ll feel an imperceptible rotation, pensive shadows on bleak walls, silhouetted remorse. He hurts like you. He’s lost someone, just like you. You’ll wonder, Are these shadows moving? Or am I imagining them to?
Even Doren’s delightful moments are haunted. A sidelong glance, a face that reminds you of another face. It’s ungraspable. The fear, that what’s changed is unnoticed, and what’s seen seems unchanged.
Characters change suddenly, then disappear. And guilt, so, so much of it, so palpable.
Yes, the work is sparse, adamantly calm. But these shadows limn important truths, things simple, but in need of persistent reminder. And capturing this hollow pang, the cold resonance of regret, and preserving it, offering it to the viewer wholly intact, this requires great effort.
[BRING OVER BEER WHILE I’M TRYING TO GET SOBER & Other Poems makes it clear that] even the quietest poet surely howls into the unforgiving night.
cover art by Jesse Michaels (of Operation Ivy)
You never recover from heartache. The myth of transcendence is a lie. Dylan Doren doesn’t buy into the bullshit, but he accepts and endures in his newest chapbook of poems, BRING OVER BEER WHEN I’M TRYING TO GET SOBER. The short, fragmented lines reflect the shattering experience of loss. Reading it is like picking up the pieces and trying to make sense of them. You can’t make sense of the senseless, of course, but you can go on. That’s all you can do. –goodreads
Dylan Doren’s “Time and Space” is a book of collected poems divided into three fragments: time, coitus, and space. What strikes most about this book is its angst — the way in which it rawly catalogues in our interface with desire. What more is desire than our inescapable longing for that which we cannot have, an object of love just out of our proximity, an ideal always just out of joint with our own experiential narrative of time? In “Time and Space,” we feel the tumult of the necessary distance which sustains the act of loving itself, the impossibility of its culmination. Here, two lovers dance around each other in an attempt to pin down the other, each unable to grasp themselves in the shifting. In the book’s archival telling of this process, it unconsciously sketches the contours of longing itself: the ways in which we tragically attempt to eradicate the distances, proximities, and temporal lags that are the stuff of intimacy itself. Loaded with self-fracturing (the movement between first and third person accounts), temporal fracturing (the movement between the past, present, and future), this is a work of blunt outpouring and honesty.