Control Bird Alt Delete
“In kinship with the patterns and compulsions of Ramirez, Darger, Klee, and with her own Frost-like propensity for cellar holes and lilacs, Peary charges an already charged landscape with dazzling significance.”—Emily Wilson, judge, 2013 Iowa Poetry Prize
“To read this book is to be in a world at once as thin as the page and as deep as consciousness, where experience is both available and private, and language is engagingly transparent and richly dark.”—Laura Mullen
“Control Bird Alt Delete is a great book. It’s descriptive, poetic, interior, and technological, often within the same sentence. But it’s firmly located in an American present of rest areas, stores we all know, and ‘men made entirely of denim.’ And it sounds great; Peary’s music is just beautiful.”—Matthew Rohrer
“‘Go play!’ advises Peary in her third collection, and we do, with ‘a tassel of rain,’ with ‘dove-colored sounds’ and ‘starter castles.’ The topos is New England archaeology; it’s Colorforms and Legos; Charley Harper landscapes become interiors; we are delighted to already find ourselves where we couldn’t possibly get to.”—Caroline Knox, author, Flemish: Poems
In Control Bird Alt Delete,the reader is invited to explore strange landscapes: some based on the ruins of New England and others following the architectural prints of the unconscious. The reader walks through woods filled with cellar holes, rock walls, and lilac bushes, and is made to think of people gone missing. Robert Frost meets Times Square. Nature intrudes in unexpected ways on domestic settings—and vice versa—domestic and industrial settings appear in bits inside the pastoral. Birds, one-dimensional but strangely wise, flit back and forth and rebelliously tape up their songs. The senses are thoroughly blended, leading to strange combinations and sensory experiences, to states of mindfulness and blizzard distraction.
All the while, the unconscious threatens to intrude, with its underlined places, its trap doors inside ordinary conversations, the mazes it hangs up like “welcome home” banners next to people’s mouths while they speak. The reader follows the first-person I through mazes, office spaces, and coils of highway traffic, hoping for some redemption, some sort of answer to all the deletion.
A red zigzag onto which is clipped a sunflower seed.
Several yards of yellow elbow with the authority.
Then a blue and white striped line twirls retro.
Carrying the sound of the highway between their beaks.
As the buildings go up and down, up down.
Moving through the laughter of the trees.
A red yellow and blue Check mark on the sky
That also appears on the foggy front of your sweater
Twirls counterattack, blue and white and neo,
Carrying the grey, striped sound of the highway.
That red zigzag, that sunflower seed, that yellow authority,
After The Tipping Point, Robin’s Break, Robin’s Song,
Here’s a single, says the announcer of Jazz at Night.
No, it’s a Flicker and a Yellow Zinger, Charley Harper wrestling
with Audubon, says the man with the mile-long glasses.