American Dream with Exit Wound, Paperback
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American Dream with Exit Wound, Paperback

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Poetry. In this new collection by the award-winning poet and neurologist Dawn Mc Guire, the American Dream is an ironic construct at the end of Empire. Here, returning soldiers bring "hazardous materials" home in their bodies and minds; while home is increasingly a battleground of addiction and disaffection. In "Limbics," the book's middle section, the neurological "old brain" speaks. Jealousy, rage, and anxious intuition overwhelm all reason; while desire is that resistless force by which we are "first made / inflamed, destroyed / then raised to aerial ash / again and again." In "Ghosts," the final section, inevitable losses of love, will, memory, and capacity become the psyche's "missing children." They haunt us, and sometimes steal our names. These poems confront deeper wounds in body, mind, and body politic, wounds that science can neither name nor remedy. There is strong medicine here, transgressive and redemptive. "Mc Guire's poems intercept the reader in an 'emergency room' of language, then roll in the crash cart, starting with this heart-shock title: AMERICAN DREAM WITH EXIT WOUND. Mc Guire is inspired by her work with post 9/11 vets, by her brain research as a neurologist and her immersion in myth. You will take your life in your hands as you read these super-charged poems-and you will...'come to' with an exit wound: by which I mean to say a whole new consciousness of what poetry is, what poetry can do, and how poetry urgently matters."--Carol Muske-Dukes "It's taken almost five hundred years for science to awaken from its post- Cartesian love affair with rationality, and re-acknowledge what the Greeks knew: the gods are an unruly lot. Their Olympus is the untamable, amoral, 'limbic' core from which our most base and most exalted passions arise. Mc Guire, both a neuroscientist and a classics-infused poet, lights up the limbic brain, then makes it sing like a drunken Caruso."--David Shaddock