Little Glass Planet

Reading Little Glass Planet, Dobby Gibson's newest book of poetry, is a lot like meditation.

Through his linguistic dexterity and strange juxtapositions, Gibson finds infinite space in the small moments and insignificant objects of the day-to-day: a broken microwave flashing, snow falling on a freeway, a fire engine in a suburb, a cat sitting in the shade of a parked car.

He brings a sharp and clarifying focus to the banal and forgotten details of our lives, details that often get lost in the din of life in an advanced capitalist economy. Gibson's world is not idealized; throughout these poems there is a brewing sense of doom: descriptions of microplastics in the oceans, an overdue fire on its way, a mighty nation unwilling to admit its problems, a world depleted. Gibson also writes of language's profound inadequacy in a time like the present, its inability to express truth in light of its omnipresence in roadside signs and gum advertisements. But Gibson's laments appear in equal measure with notes of hope and a desire for everyone to "get better at being alive."

Although Little Glass Planet is not a light read, it is often funny. Gibson balances earnestness with occasionally bizarre imagery and surprising references to cultural memes. He has a particular skill in refashioning familiar adages and aphorisms into strange, fresh pieces of wisdom. His poems are stinging, exceedingly perceptive and, most of all, insistent that there is still a grace to be found in the world, if one is willing to see it. --Emma Levy, bookseller at Third Place Books Seward Park, Seattle, Wash.

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