“Elegant and raunchy, tender and brutal, musically, visually, and erotically ravishing, Greg Allendorf’s work is everything I want poetry to be, and I will read this volume again and again.”
—Aliki Barnstone, author of Bright Body
It’s April now, complains Allendorf’s speaker, and still no desperate gift of unreturned yearning.
The poems of Fair Day in An Ancient Town subvert the glorious, Romantic pastoral into a voice easy to imagine as Walt Whitman’s darkly clever younger brother. The object of affection is fake-tanned and an idiot but still crashes a dozen lush masturbatory fantasies—or the speaker and his lover meet as shepherds only to eat M&Ms and abandon each other on bingo night. O, the way his mouth confounded me / and folded on my mouth there in the fold, slyly sings one of Allendorf’s shepherd’s songs, O, the glory of his hairy arms, / the way they lit my eyes a little then.
Layering complex form, rhyme, and craft over lush horniness and hard wit, Allendorf effortlessly upends romantic poetry and exposes it to the twenty-first century. This is a collection to make the reader laugh out loud and think deep—and then find a way to be alone under the covers.
“With uncommon linguistic acuity [. . .] and a delightfully original voice, Greg Allendorf offers up poems that speak—and continue speaking—genuine longing, and the insistent ache of love. These are necessary poems for our young century.”
—Scott Cairns, author of Idiot Psalms