Often, Common, Some, and Free
Distributed for Omnidawn Publishing, Inc.
Often, Common, Some, and Free
This is a book about transformation. Moving across varied formal and aesthetic terrains, these poems take on the subject of change, considering the construction and demolition of buildings, roaming between cities, and drawing together an image of a world in flux. The speaker is in movement—walking, flying, swimming, and taking the train, while also constantly twisting in his sentences, turning into different versions of himself, and braiding his voice with others. These poems take on subjects that encompass creation and loss from Robert Moses’s career transforming the cityscape of New York to the robbery of works from Boston’s Gardner Museum. But, ultimately, these poems aim to resist destruction, to focus on the particular, and to hold still their world and their ever-shifting speaker.
80 pages | 6 x 9
“I soaked up these poems like a character wandering from pool to pool in a John Cheever story. I dove into them as into an enchanted David Hockney swimming pool painting. Samuel Amadon immerses you in the ‘advanced fantasies’ of a silver-tongued poet. Meaning is never exactly narrative. It’s saturated with vernacular fluency, lyrical acuity, expressive idiosyncrasy. You simply have to read this fascinating book to grasp its mercurial energies, its enigmatic clarity. Often, Common, Some, And Free is remarkable and wonderfully irreducible.’”
Terrance Hayes, author of American Sonnets
“These poems Beatrice us into an infrastructure-past, natter us through a not-so-grand civic grandeur that’s something like a citizenship stolen from us before we were ever born. You might want to chlorinate your feet after you break open this spine—it seems every genius has a red velvet swing to hide. Get your coffee to go.”
Magdalena Zurawski, author of The Tiniest Muzzle Sings Songs of Freedom
“The figure who wanders the streets of New York, in Amadon’s latest book, can’t help but see, behind every edifice—including his own self—the demolition required to build any site. Welded by reverie and hypotheses, enjambment and psychogeography, these lyrics act less like frozen music, as composed by Robert Moses, than scaffolding. Reading them is akin to sandblasting a façade while treading a relay of boards, casually vertiginous and ‘belilaced’ by a botany of asphalt and human sprawl. Their logic and syntax are potholed and cracked, coaxing us to look down, as well as up, as we follow no map. Taxis and swimming pools, turnstiles and bridges, lovers in coffee shops: ‘the city is an idea,’ our guide proposes, continuing where O’Hara and Oppen left off, an opening crossed by the mind and feet in sync, or syncopation. Now concerted, now astray, the score for this Gotham eclogue is a bewildering, weirdly infectious tinnitus, ‘ringing everywhere for me / too.’”
Andrew Zawacki, author of Unsun : f/11