Taking its title from the cult horror movie classic, Jonathan Aaron’s third book is a work of appropriately sharp wit, irony and disarming tenderness. Cool, metaphysically quizzical and almost Eastern-European in sensibility, the poems in Journey to the Lost City are savvy, intelligent, personal, and yet reserved; juxtaposing historical persons and places with the immediate, Aaron’s work speaks with an authority that is wholly American, timeless and intimate.
Five months old and already a hundred pounds,
head like a cinderblock wrapped in grey velour,
he pinned my arm under his chin on the chair arm
and fixed me with an unblinking, yellow-eyed stare.
I tried to understand, but the heat was something.
The flagstones rippled like linen under water.
Wasps kept dropping stupified from the grapevines.
Not even the chickens were talking.
He sighed and licked his complicated chops.
My eyes kept closing. Good boy, I think I said.
That night I heard him barking in the shadows
of the laurel grove, learning his trade.
“Nostalgia for the past becomes a kind of twilight zone… The reader finds identity and imagination forever entangled and fused.” —Poetry Foundation