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Someone Falls Overboard

Someone Falls Overboard

Praise for Someone Falls Overboard 


“Someone Falls Overboard is crackling smart, hilarious without losing its urgency, centered firm in this historical moment yet an instant classic in the long tradition of poetry in conversation.”—Susanne Paola Antonetta, author of The Terrible Unlikelihood of Our Being Here


“Kuusisto and Savarese have unlocked the secret to surviving a pandemic in style.”—Siddharth Dhananjay, star of the film Patti Cake$. 


“Once in a great while, speed dating works. Something deep happens fast…. It’s jazz. It’s chess. It’s a repartee of reverence and irreverence. It’s great.”—Marty Dobrow, author of Knocking on Heaven's Door: Six Minor Leaguers in Search of the Baseball Dream


“Kuusisto and Savarese explore the meaning of age, disability, poetry, and memory; what emerges is a single long poem about friendship, witty, inventive, profane.”—George Estreich, author of Fables and Futures: Biotechnology, Disability, and the Stories We Tell Ourselves


“A. R. Ammons once described two butterflies spiraling upward on each other's air currents as ‘swifter in / ascent than they / can fly or fall’ (‘Trap’). And that's what's going on here with Kuusisto and Savarese, two masters of poetic improv… a can't-miss performance.”—Julie Kane, author of Mothers of Ireland: Poems


“The poems are rough, fast, unpredictable, and very funny. It takes both recklessness and courage to play in public, but that’s what these poets do, giving us a deep glimpse into a long friendship and demonstrating that ‘You must / Get lost / To live.’”—Chase Twichell, author of Things as It Is


“To open this book is to remember that poetry is playtime.”—Jason Tougaw, author of The One You Get: Portrait of a Family Organism.




In the Middle Distance… (SK)

Does anyone read Louis Simpson anymore? Is it time 

for a smoke? How about Robert Hayden? 

Where do the poets go—please 

say Valhalla, among the living they’re not read,

though I can see them through a glass

and others—Ignatow, Rukeyser, 

Thomas McGrath, my old teacher 

Don Justice…the living now 

read clean menus and phones.

The poets born early last century

had fatigued and ruined hearts,

which should not be forgotten, 

for some God truly looked down upon them.

I want to stare a little while,

blind though I am, 

as Hart Crane lifts his heavy arms. 


Scoundrels (RJS)

They used to say of a father 

who left: He went out for a smoke 

and never came back.

Translation: The fucker abandoned 

us; he didn’t leave a dime.

It’s the same with poets: 

every reader is a child 

and every poem, a betrayal.

The word moves on.

Truth is, we nagged 

them to death.

Books are like milk bottles:

they wait to be opened 

and spoil quickly.

We’re all just scoundrels 

of the moment.


Old Man’s Verses Ride Again… (SK)

1580s, skowndrell, of unknown origin,

though my great grandfather was a wheelwright

who’d build a sleigh 

or a child’s coffin “out there” 

in Finland.

It’s thought to come 

from Anglo-French escoundre

“to hide oneself” (the meaning of work).

In the good old days,

when you’d be tempted 

to curl up in a newly completed box,

cat-like just to see 

if you’d fit,

then as now 

it meant getting away with it.

You’d find a way to fit.


Arrow (RJS)

I remember wanting a suit  

three sizes too big. 

I thought shoulders might give  

a sense of purpose. 

I thought man was something  

that arrived like a taxi— 

you could summon it. 

I had confidence in spades. 


In college, I dug graves for a priest  

until he found me  

weeping over a stone. 

The word sin can be traced back to archery. 

In the Book of Judges,  

the Benjaminites were so good  

with their bows they could 

aim at a hair and not chait


I still miss my father. 

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