Author: Jacques J. Rancourt
Publisher: Alice Hames Books (2021)
Set in San Francisco, Brocken Spectre examines the way the past presses up against the present. The speaker, raised in the wake of the AIDS crisis, engages with ideas of belatedness, of looking back to a past that cannot be inhabited, of the ethics of memory, and of the dangers in memorializing and romanticizing tragedy.
"Delving into the nature of memory, both cultural and emotional, the poems of Brocken Spectre are sharp, dauntless, and unflinchingly lucid. Navigating the powerful undertow of amnesia and a future that has already passed by, Jacques J. Rancourt's lyrics alert us both to time's layers and to the wonder of its elasticity. I admire the great tenderness these poems convey toward those who preceded them and how, in Rancourt's hands, hauntings become inheritances worth having, even in a world on fire."