As with all of Juan Sweeney’s work Chad gets his hands on, this collection of Juan’s lost notebooks delivers a whole range of qualities: surprising imagery, mythic visions and descriptions, and some knowing and excited tone that screams calmly and consistently.
Wolf’s Milk just fucking delivers. Here’s a bit from my favorite poem in the collection, the 23rd piece:
“My autobiography: / The womb was my first house. / Its garden was the world. / Its rose / was emptiness and music. / You know the rest. / Every so often hell sends up / a white balloon.”
This cohesive tone ties all these insane images together. Later there are elephants, blue wolves, granite wolves, lighthouses and knives. And bones. So many bones. Together, they help paint these colorful, thick-brushstroked poems that keep the stylistic tonalities Juan intended and which Chad keeps so alive, so glowing. These notebooks glow.