The voice comes from an acclaimed young poet who, after working years in obscurity, was fêted with the prestigious Walt Whitman Award for his first collection. This, his second book, is a freewheeling explosion of celebrations, elegies, narratives, psychologically raw persona pieces (one in the voice of Amelia Earhart), and a handful of punchy lyric poems with a desperate humor. It is, as the title suggests, a book exalting love among friends in our scattered times.
Opening with a five-page anthem called “Layover,” it begins:
They keep paging Kenneth Koch at the airport.
Someone should let the announcer know
he is dead, that there is no city he can go to,
that no one is expecting him. Once, I applied
to be a horse . . .