Today's poem is "The Nemesis of Weekends"
from Laodicea


Eric Ekstrand lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with his husband, Danny, and his father, Ken. He teaches writing at Wake Forest University. He is the recipient of a 2009 Ruth Lilly Fellowship awarded by The Poetry Foundation and graduated from the University of Houston with an MFA in Creative Writing in 2010. He is a former poetry editor of Gulf Coast:A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts. His work has appeared in Poetry, jubilat, Indiana Review, Black Warrior Review, Bat City Review, and elsewhere.

Books by Eric Ekstrand:

Other poems on the web by Eric Ekstrand:
Three poems
"When the Audience Tired, Little Richard Would Scold, 'The Beauty is Still on Duty'"

Eric Ekstrand's Website.

Eric Ekstrand on Twitter.

About Laodicea:

"In the new and nearer Laodicea, Eric Ekstrand sets his margins moving and finds a center everywhere his loving eye alights. Naturally, given the exigencies of our own bad empire, his concerns are tender and keen for flesh, for shrines in the flesh that undisguise the blasted shrines of these United States."
—Donald Revell

"'Laodicea' invokes the Christian sect of whom John said, in Revelations, 'I wish that you were cold or hot.' The level speaker in Ekstrand's poems is one of a rootless community of youthful artists and strugglers, somewhere in Walt Whitman's America in a parish so static that to read the paper—'Theft at Furches'/Evergreen Warehouse in West Jefferson;/Desirable Black Mountain Subdivision/Burns' is to conclude that 'Purlear must borrow its news.' The search for meaning requires a light heart: 'I have been here/at the fake Parthenon/in Nashville/because we both love it/...You were always wearing gladiator sandals.' Amid the inauthentic, the pastiche, the absurd and the hilarious, it would be natural to feel somewhat ironic and lukewarm toward the world. But far from it: the affection between these speakers and their cohort tells another story about the durable ideal of friendship, which is always romantic. Love poems to one Hannah, reminiscent of Frank O'Hara's poems to Grace Hartigan, are the apex of Ekstrand's collection: read 'The Legend of the Musk Deer' through to its surprising and beautiful conclusion and tell me it doesn't belong with 'In Memory of My Feelings' as a monument to the unruly impulses caught between passion, compassion, and sublime disinterest. The fact that Ekstrand is more quiet and contained than O'Hara only makes for a slower burn—but make no mistake: his poetry has the bright white flash of a magnesium firework."
—Ange Mlinko

"As dramatically as any young writer I know, Eric Ekstrand has invented a deeply original poetic language, an idiomatic grammar which opens strange kaleidoscopic views of the familiar world. His poems are pastoral landscapes in which social realties, flowering dogwood, and linguistic coinages are intertwined with a Gnostic chattiness, landscapes in which "The golden dog pauses / valueless among the muscle / of the word rhododendron," and wallpaper lotuses "sit like ladies / sit for yoga at the Y / —unsupressed." Ektrand's poems are intricate, wondrous, funny, contemplative and preternaturally wise. They excite and awaken me."
—Tony Hoagland

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