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See Me Improving
Travis Nichols
$15.00 paperback
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See Me Improving
Travis Nichols

See Me Improving invites readers into a world gone strange, where everyday human behaviors become fraught with extraordinary significance. "We've all been to that dark space," Travis Nichols writes; "What quiet deal did you make?" In his second collection, poet and novelist Nichols makes history out of our contemporary landscape, a place inhabited by curious dreams and lies, love stories, and vertiginous leaps of logic.


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For See Me Improving, Travis Nichols

"This hip and funny second collection of poems from Nichols… looks, with a tender heart, mostly at domestic life, occasionally lifting its gaze toward the larger contemporary American scene. Nichols's speaker is, foremost, humbled by circumstances big and small: 'All my life I've felt destined / not for the greatness of my heroes / but the goodness of their followers.' He looks with a kind of gentle admiration on most things, from the local Bruegger's Bagels to the beloved, to whom tribute is paid in the title sequence: 'I will buy orange roses for you, / and you will buy an orange book for me, / and this evening we will leave them both / in the cold house with the furry cat, / so we can have a code orange night.' Slight in-jokes like this are sprinkled throughout, though most readers will find these plainspoken, free verse poems friendly and easy to grasp. Fans of poets like Matthew Zapruder will find much to like in this world in which 'Poetry is an ovary with an eyeball in it.'"—Publishers Weekly

"See Me Improving questions the nature of what it means to get well, to improve. It is not enough for the poet merely to function, to take the world at face value—even if he becomes capable of it. Creativity is messy; or as Nichols writes: 'The divine is always still and undone / so be still and undo.' Some humans seem to be equipped to face the world straight up. Others, the poets, are screaming at the divine that we can't handle what we've been given. It hurts; but without the experience of discomfort, there might only be poetry of praise. In reading Nichols's luminous collection, it seems the divine takes its poetry with an edge."—The Rumpus 

"Nichols pulls the reader in... with breathtaking immediacy."—Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune

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