Slow planetary rotation, the push and pull of the moon, a book--Paul Pearson's debut collection of poems lays before readers a mapping and re-mapping of the familiar systems of order we rely on to survive the human experience. Reflecting on the principles set down by both Galileo and the Church, Lunatic Engine directs our gaze to the heavens, to the childhood home, to the womb, to the quiet moments of our daily lives to contemplate what comfort is offered by doctrines when staring down the barrel of birth, death, and everything in between.
Lunatic Engine is a book of orbits, of wayward paths traced around the gravitational bodies of childhood, parenthood, marriage, religion, art, and science. These are inventive poems in which ninjas fight Dutch elm disease, eyelashes are keys to understanding aerodynamics, and children free angels from river ice. At once moving and heady, Paul Pearson has written a remarkable book that will keep you looking over your shoulder into the heavens.
-- Adam Dickinson
The lunatic engine of Paul Pearson's dynamic first book pulses and revs across many different 'scapes: the conflict between science and religion, a subtly personal exploration of how one comes to terms with such, especially as a parent, a vision of the world as it is and as it might be. This engine takes readers to the moons of Jupiter and to the poet's backyard, stepping delicately through a forest of footnotes turning into new poems, and pushing the lyric into new configurations along the way. Both theologically and scientifically attuned and emotionally acute, Lunatic Engine torques its power with subtle grace.
How thrilling--how gratifying--to discover that a work of mine, inspired by the bond between Galileo and his daughter, has in turn ignited the imagination of Paul Pearson, inciting these starry new poems of familial love.