Today's poem is "Nugatory"
from Blood Oboe


Douglas Piccinnini was born in New York City in 1982. His writing has appeared in Antioch Review, Aufgabe, Diner Journal, Jacket, Lana Turner, The Volta, Verse, The Poetry Project Newsletter, NYTimes.com and The Seattle Review—among other publications. He has been awarded residencies by The Vermont Studio Center, Art Farm in Marquette, NE and, The Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia. In 2014, he was selected by Dorothea Lasky as a winner of the Summer Literary Seminars for Poetry. Piccinnini is the author of several chapbooks including Soft (The Cultural Society) and Flag (Well Greased Press)—an encoded chromaglyph. Story Book, a novella, is forthcoming with The Cultural Society.

Books by Douglas Piccinnini:

Other poems on the web by Douglas Piccinnini:
"Faith Void"
Three poems
Three poems

Douglas Piccinnini's Website.

About Blood Oboe:

"He has done it—written poems of a gnarled toughness that can't be taken apart, chewed up, seen through. Douglas Piccinnini (the delightful name itself is incongruously dance-like, operatic) has set the mark for new poems of a terrific integrity, unsmiling (their humor is deep down, waiting); poems sharply seeing. Seeing, for instance, that the mathematical universe is maddeningly out of synch with the negative numbers of the daily emotions that cannot catch up with the day: 'what's this dumb rope to cling to.' Where is the sum? The transcendence? 'All the coin towers / tooth down.'"
—Calvin Bendientt

"What can I assert about Douglas Piccinnini's poems when they take such great care to dismantle assertions, piling their bits into a heap? Assertions are made with words, and from this heap he gives them back to the world his way, and he knows what he's doing. George Oppen said, 'if word A must be next to word B, GET it there.' Piccinnini always does, according to the mystery that his ear recognizes. 'One way of grieving/a dethroned self' is through the creation of a nugatory poetic universe where no dark night is blunted but there is always an unlit match, which is to say, meaning."
—Stacy Szymaszek

"The discrepancy between what is possible and the void is here made to rub up against itself again and again, where the match that is not lit inside your pocket suddenly blooms into a grieving flame and is given away (then taken back) in an act only language can accomplish. Here is where language simply won't be forced to story but gossips around its centers and edges, backlit in stark, bright, virtual, singing delirium. These poems show me what we lie next to: proprioception in late digital avarice, but also the mind and the poem (in their vibrant, native ontological enquiries) as avaricious as the world."
—Eleni Sikelianos

"James Merrill's 'Marsyas' might be the most fitting text for the back of this at once bewildering and clarificatory book, not because the poetry here is anything like Merrill's, but because Douglas Piccinnini seems a descendent of that ancient, flayed musician who happened upon a way to make music and then paid for it. I like that these poems don't much want to be 'liked'; rather, Blood Oboe demands something else—something better—of its readers, all of whom will benefit from its sad ha ha and its enstranging cadences."
—Graham Foust

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