Today's poem is "Every Summer,"
from Sweetheart, Baby, Darling

Word Press

Philip Memmerwas born in Ohio, and has lived in Illinois, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Southern Poetry Review, Mid-American Review, and many other journals and anthologies. He is the also author of two chapbooks of poems, For Resident (FootHills Publishing, 2002) and The Apartment (piccadilly press, 2001). He now lives in upstate New York, where he edits the poetry journal Two Rivers Review and directs the Downtown Writer’s Center, the Syracuse affiliate of the YMCA National Writer’s Voice.

About Sweetheart, Baby, Darling:

"Keen observation fused to invention distinguishes Philip Memmer’s new collection, Sweetheart, Baby, Darling. Open it and fall into the heart of the daily, where the world waits undecayed and lit with tenderness. In these poems Memmer delivers the Hardy Boys and Tom Swift’s Atomicar, a poor shopgirl selling used lingerie, neighbors who don’t know each others’ names, and poems about married love. He takes nothing for granted: ‘Though the storefront is lit // like a church, this isn’t light / you can rest in.’” “It’s light occasionally salted with a lovely weightless humor: ‘The Wife Test’ begins ‘You merely wanted to stop the world’ and sings, ‘but only three lines in // you know you’ve lost her’. I love the artful plainness here, Memmer’s cool invitations to look, and to imagine. ‘I believe in nothing just enough,’ he writes, ‘to stay up all night wondering,’ and we too, reading the world given with a clarity like Hopper’s, but warmer."
—Deena Linett

"Phil Memmer creates the worlds of his poems with subtle word music and strong rhythms that convince me I need to keep reading. I trust this voice, and so I’m doubly delighted when he crafts the images of these worlds so well I am actively there, in the poem, no longer just a reader. Reading such poems as ‘Haunted Mini-Golf,’ ‘Consignment Lingerie’ and ‘Tabletop World,’ I am reminded of what a friend once said to Tu Fu concerning his use of images: ‘It’s like being alive twice.’ Phil Memmer’s poems do this—what more could we ask for?"
—Len Roberts

"‘Portrait—do one of a man who looks like Mr. So-and-So,’ Pierre Bonnard jotted in his diary. In Philip Memmer’s debut full-length collection, Mr. (and Ms.) So-and-So are vividly portrayed in the cold light of the new century, ‘As a thousand miles / roll the nines to zeroes,’ an American couple entangled in the confusions of domesticity and sexuality, separately ‘singing to no one’ as they attempt the ‘harder work’ of marking their lives together. Memmer’s salesgirls and convenience store nightshift clerks, adrift in the peculiar landscape of haunted mini-golf and consignment lingerie, assume familiar faces as we recognize ourselves, ‘eloquent others who talk / in their sleep, but sleep alone.’ These are poems of heartbreaking clarity, addressed to all of us who would be named Sweetheart, Baby, Darling—even as we acknowledge, helplessly, what such naming might portend."
—Michael Waters

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