Review #15: ‘This Life Now’ by Michael Broder
What I keep returning to in this too-short book (my one big quibble: the thirty-plus manuscript pages make more for a fat chapbook than a slim volume of poems retailing for $13.95!) are the Tony Poems, Tony as the Beloved Messenger of Viral Peril who haunts whatever comes after. A few decades in the making, Broder’s debut is beyond resentment. Having cleaned up his side of the street, we are left tenderly haunted by his “normal” suburban homo childhood as prelude to the AIDS pandemic followed by Broder’s long lyrical postlude that bears witness to survival without glorifying it, looking back wistfully instead on a time when reckless passion was at its height.
Disclosures: Back in the day, MB curated a fine reading series at the Ear Inn on the East Bank of the Hudson.
Favorites: Prologue; Tony Poem; Another Tony Poem (“But tonight, if I went down”); The Remembered One.