Paper $18.00 ISBN: 9780226533599 Will Publish March 2018
An e-book edition will be published.

Losers Dream On

Mark Halliday

Losers Dream On

Mark Halliday

80 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2018
Paper $18.00 ISBN: 9780226533599 Will Publish March 2018
E-book $18.00 ISBN: 9780226533629 Will Publish March 2018
We are all losing all the time. Four titanic forces—time, mortality, forgetting, and confusion—win victories over us each day. We all “know” this yet we keep dreaming of beautiful fulfillments, shapely culminations, devotions nobly sustained—in family life, in romance, in work, in citizenship. What obsesses Halliday in Losers Dream On is how to recognize reality without relinquishing the pleasure and creativity and courage of our dreaming.
            Halliday’s poetry exploits the vast array of dictions, idioms, rhetorical maneuvers, and tones available to real-life speakers (including speakers talking to themselves). Often Halliday gives a poem to a speaker who is distressed, angry, confused, defensive, self-excusing, or driven by yearning, so that the poem may dramatize the speaker’s state of mind while also implying the poet’s ironic perspective on the speaker. Meanwhile, a few other poems (for instance “A Gender Theory” and “Thin White Shirts” and “First Wife” and “You Lament”) try to push beyond irony into earnestness and wholehearted declaration.  The tension between irony and belief is the engine of Halliday’s poetry.
 
Contents
Acknowledgments
*
Glen
Bus Full of Dinosaurs
Worthy
First Wife
Ernest and Lionel
Hal Dead
Chilled                                                                                                                                   
He Meant
Index to Hamaday: A Questionable Life
Thirteen Balloons
66 Benevolent Street
**
About Time
Yearbook Photo
Your New Assignment
Moot
Maria’s Mexican Food
Thin White Shirts
Milano Adesso
Bird’s Shadow
Poured
***
Balancing Act
Tossed Cup
Not Exactly for Talia
Freedom of Speech
Tradeoffs
Boomerang
Whizdizz
Shark Fate
Almost Dusk
After the Major Events
****
Angel at Wilkes
Their First Marriage
Sarah Sees Two Runners
A Gender Theory
The Quilmias
Your Paltry Conquests
Shadblow
Been There
Our Love Problem
Midnight, the Stars, and You
*****
You Lament
Not Nothing
Whisk Broom
Rolf Smedvig in Particular
But Also
My Other Apartment
Plot Twist
No Vacation for Maigret
Meaning
Review Quotes
Rosanna Warren
" 'And you try to be awake,' growls Mark Halliday. These poems are fully awake, practicing vivisection on their own delusions, complacencies, and sublimities, carving into the tissue of language. Song here sounds more like invoice than voice. Yet its wit reveals the timeless: sorrow for a dying father, a lost wife, and the core recognition of our 'dustitude.' A remarkable book."
Tony Hoagland
“Mark Halliday is one of our foremost technicians of the American vernacular. In Halliday's poems, James Joyce, Leave It To Beaver, and Sir Walter Raleigh all get their turn at the microphone. I admire Halliday's dedication to coherence, self-interrogation, and endless verbal playfulness. His voice is one of the most reliable, hilarious, effervescent, and moody pleasures in the contemporary canon. His rich new collection, Losers Dream On, holds its own with the high standard of his best work.”
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