Either Way I'm Celebrating
Whether a traditional lyric, a section-length love poem about cage fighting, or a collage of prose and fragments meditating on a haunted and haunting domestic architecture, the poems in Sommer Browning’s Either Way I’m Celebrating share the same DNA base pairs of humor and sentiment, skepticism and humanism; the source of their integrity is how Browning combines and recombines them. Complemented throughout by her sardonic comics, this collection stubbornly celebrates, if only our own absurdity.
What People Are Saying
Sometimes I think Sommer Browning is a James Wright for the basic cable generation, at others the gorgeously deformed lovechild of H.D. and Groucho Marx. What I mean is I cannot categorize these poems, and that’s the highest compliment I can give any poetry.
All objections to progress,” writes Hans Blumenberg, “could come down to the fact that it hasn’t yet taken us far enough.” That’s philosophy—and it’s funny—but no one would ever level the same complaint at pain or laughter, this fine book’s subjects and two phenomena that can take human beings great distances almost immediately. Absolutely modern—but never resolutely maudlin—Sommer Browning doesn’t settle for making it new; rather, she lets it bleed and gets us there on time.
Well / I don’t know / Sommer / Browning’s new book / EITHER WAY I’M CELEBRATING / so different from mine / made me laugh /so it’s no sin / it made me see this place anew / it moved me in my air-shield / Sommer / your heart was open as this cup.
Inside the Book
- Poetry / Comics
- Perfect-bound. 96 pp
- 8.8" x 5.9"
- Publication Date:
- March 2011
- Steven Karl
From the Book
Either Way I'm Celebrating
They’re saying irony is dead.
And for a few minutes I thought
I might die too—a woman
who would buy a fifth of liquor
and a pregnancy test just to see
the look on the clerk’s face.
It’s always strange to be born
before the cusp of some new age,
hanging onto nothing as if it were
Los Angeles. I remember glaring
through the windshield of the family
Pacer, watching a thirty-foot man
crack jokes on the screen.
My parents were laughing,
but I didn’t get the way something
huge and astonishing could be flat,
could not exist at all.
Don’t be Afraid to Help Sharks
So we all had these rayguns.
And it was dark, but you could see
their shellacked brilliance
every now and then, burning
into the night. My sister
was the first to puss out.
I heard her misfire—such
skittering limitlessness—and I knew
she’d given up. I kept on,
they were finally in my sights.As I
raised the raygun, my motion was arrested
by the curious conflagration of an essence unhinged.
Gooey, out there beyond the yew.