Sad Little Breathing Machine by Matthea Harvey

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Harvey, whose debut collection was praised by the New Yorker
as "intensely visual, mournfully comic and syntactically
inventive," offers her second stunning collection

Units are the engines
I understand best.

One betrayal, two.
Merrily, merrily, merrily.
-from "Introduction to the World"

In Sad Little Breathing Machine, Matthea Harvey explores the strange and intricate mechanics of human systems-of the body, of thought, of language itself. These are the engines, like poetry, that propel both our comprehension and misunderstanding. "If you're lucky," Harvey writes, "after a number of / revolutions, you'll / feel something catch."

"I pictured myself arriving at an amusement park, only none of the rides are familiar. I considered running away. I could break my neck or be catapulted into the sky. I might never be seen again. It's only poetry, I reminded myself, and climbed on board. I'm tossed and bucked and jabbed and lashed and flipped. I'm having a nearly insane amount of fun, and I don't want it to ever end."--James Tate

About Matthea Harvey

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Matthea Harvey is the author of Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form. She is the poetry editor of American Letters & Commentary and lives in Brooklyn.
Published March 1, 2004 by Graywolf Press. 80 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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An early poem propositions readers, "Invent the sun & edition the trees": later she explains "I am no relation/ to the sky but to the mechanical// dragon wrapped in tissue paper," or exclaims enticingly, "Frond-fond & pond-proud/ we sugar the obstacle dark."

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