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In "The Now Dark Sky, Setting Us All on Fire," Robert Krut unveils surrealistic imagery and apocalyptic moments that encroach on his cityscapes. Entering his urban vision of off-kilter fingerprint police, helix fireworks, and lockboxes replete with “unsewn / buttons from the shirts of dead men” (“The Vault”), we are invited to witness how “daylight peels silence / off the sides of buildings” to reveal vampire teeth and arrows (“Phantasmagoria at Six AM”), how “every single body on the street / turns to paper” (“At This Very Moment”). Krut dismantles the world around us and in turn remakes it into something dark yet alive, a place seething with desire, where “A thousand leaves are worth one wish” (“This All Starts With You, and This All Ends With You”).
From the very first poem in this quiet and intimate collection, Robert Krut inventively crafts image after shape-shifting image, each suggesting an alternate universe designed to help us better understand our real one. The graceful poems in The Now Dark Sky, Setting Us All on Fire beautifully balance being both agent and acted upon. Krut is a poet of vivid imagery and distinctive voice.
The seductive tactility of Krut’s language reminds us of our bodies, our bones and teeth, our veins and fingerprints even as we move among dragons and giant arachnids. A provocative pendulum swinging from fantasy to physicality and back again, these poems acknowledge our longing for escape but leave us with the inescapable conclusion that we are tethered now and forever to ourselves and to this blood-drenched world.