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BEARABLE WEIGHT

Bearable Weight
by Michael Cleary
Publisher:
CW Books
(October 2011)
ISBN:
9781936370511
Order

"Rainy," by Kiki Kogelnik, 1977.
© Kiki Kogelnik Foundation.
Reprinted with permission.

BEARABLE WEIGHT BACK COVER


 

REVIEWS

  OVERVIEW:
 

Paradise gone
for good.

With these opening words, Michael Cleary’s Bearable Weight begins an exploration of everyday joys and struggles to address big questions. How to embrace change? Can we satisfy body and soul? Is this life enough?

This gifted storyteller weaves together several journeys: reckless son to anxious father, Adirondack Mountains to Florida shore, student to professor, religious conviction to existential doubt. With heartfelt passion and much humor, these poems strive to reconcile past and present, loves lost and found—choices and consequences which impact a life.

Cleary’s unflinching candor and vivid language blend with a chorus of remarkable voices including family, friends, students, The Prodigal Son’s Brother, Chief Osceola as they “stumble, bungle, blunder, survive.”

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  REVIEWS:
Fred Chappell
  The “bearable weight” of Michael Cleary’s title is mortality, he tells us in his poem, “Carnal.” That phrase almost perfectly characterizes the tones and attitudes of this striking collection. more...
   
The Rockford Review
 

Bright and sardonic poetry that is poignant, funny, and philosophical. Cleary’s titles alone are miniature works of art. “Adam and Eve Make Love,” “Haikukuku,” “Love Song of the Half-Baked Scholar,” and “Requiem for Boom-Boom” are but a few examples of his provocative titles that transported me into swirling, mental perspectives. more...

   

Skylar Hamilton Burris Small Press Poetry Book Reviews

  Michael Cleary's Bearable Weight contains frequent allusions to religious life or the Bible in emotionally fraught settings and paints a sometimes bleak landscape penetrated by occasional rays of hope. There’s a bitter-sweet tone to several of his poems. The reader will be introduced to a diverse cast of characters, each with his or her own unique life story. more...
   
Florida Book Review (2013)
 

Weight of loss, of love, of regret, weight of sadness, of faith, of doubt, weight of existence and death: Michael Cleary’s poems each lug a piece of the load of living, the human spirit capable of bearing what it must—with grace and good humor. He was raised in the Adirondack town of Glens Falls, New York, and now finds himself living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Bearable Weight is his third collection of poems, following Hometown, USA and Halfway Decent Sinners.

The book is broken into two sections, “Flummoxed” and “Points of America” (30 poems apiece). They speak to the two halves of his life: youth and adulthood, Glens Falls and Fort Lauderdale, faith and doubt, innocence and experience. They create a topographical map by which the reader can feel around and sense the emotional landscape, and the development of that landscape. more...

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  POEMS: 
Bless the Child in Any Jukebox Bar
Golden Boys
Mostly Wordless
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  ORDER:
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