Near Miss considers the relationship between close calls and the tenuous conditions of contemporary life. From actual cataclysms such as meteor collisions and volcanic eruptions to everyday failures and accidents, these inventive poems collide with the perpetual unease created by life’s unpredictability while contemplating mortality, fragility, gratitude and hopefulness.
... When the Emergency Broadcast
System proclaims this is only a test, you
leave the TV on because you’ve gotten
used to the sound. You keep waiting
for the heat to come on, for the regular
broadcast to resume, for a new sensation
to quicken inside you like the sight
of that fleet of ghost-planes lifted
from the desert, reanimated, hovering
over your house as if everything is fine.
— “Decommissioned Planes”
“Matiwichuk expertly captures everyday catastrophes and missed chances in a simultaneously affectionate yet matter of fact fashion. This is a book you will not want to put down. In short, Near Miss hits the mark.”
“This collection is up-to-the-minute contemporary, and Matwichuk’s skillful use of erasure technique creates segues that lead the reader forward, as we look for safer ground. Happily, course corrections are not required, as solid ground is indeed what we find ourselves standing on, shaky though the firmament above may occasionally seem, for this is a book that ‘…has taught me something about / the direction we’re headed, the suddenly / shifting energy of what we know.’”