Boats in the Attic (Poets Out Loud) (Paperback)
Boats in the Attic is a sweeping, poignant exploration of what it means to be an individual and, in particular, what it means to be a parent of young children, in our current time of crisis. Errands must be run, the radio plays, and the child wants the birthday girl's balloon--all while sea levels are rising and wild wolves roam the acres of Chernobyl, "developing a cryptography to a century / to which we are not invited."In this dynamic collection, Powell intersperses lyric flight and prose fragments with metacommentary, nuance, and a beguiling sense of humor. At the same time, these pieces are securely tethered to the material difficulties of being a human in today's world, where a child must participate in a lockdown drill at his preschool and a dying woman turns to Reddit to fund her efforts to be cryogenetically preserved. Conversations between the speaker and her children trace the beauty and terror of existential indeterminacy: "We begin to consider other planets -- / Will they have us?" In a long piece titled "Book of Revelation," the speaker dreams that "below the bed / is an encyclopedia of lost things," a phrase that captures the collection's wide range and its categorizing eye. Powell turns to astronomy, Alice in Wonderland, Millerism, and culinary cruelty, with a uniquely celebratory and elegiac voice, all in an effort to understand the depths, and effects, of the human appetite for pleasure, power, and escape.