Author: Benjamin Krusling
Publisher: Wendy's Subway (2020)
Glaring: a sustained look of anger, an obvious fact, a situation of such brightness and intensity that vision is obscured. In his debut book of poems, Benjamin Krusling is concerned with reading domination and violence and entering their psychotic motion, the better to do otherwise. Through the thicket of anti-blackness, militarism, surveillance, impoverishment, and interpersonal abuse and violence, Glaring investigates the things that haunt daily life and make love difficult, possible, necessary.
"Glaring is a beautiful and powerful, brilliant collection, combining energies of various modernisms with elegant maneuverings through the bleak media of contemporary America. Concerned with institutions—race, health, school, sports, police, family, money, history—as well as the shifting fortunes of affection and the self, these poems utterly transform two other well-worn institutions: the lyric and the page. Every line in this indelible book was my favorite."
"It is alarming to find what you are looking for, which is what I have found in the work of Ben Krusling. His writing is sensitive, skittish, seems to have no proper skin; its unmediated effects are both intoxicating and mystifying, insofar as he appears to have no truck with literary fashions or forms. While the surface of the work is magical; the interior is confrontational and wise. I find myself with a thinker who arrives 'where het love is a freaky war machine.' I hate the moment things begin to feel only intellectual, he writes. Does he love, then, being with the 'shock' and 'energy' of perceiving emotion as an aggregate and multidimensional thing, now partly digital? I don't know. The power of Ben's work is so undeniable, it's confusing to think about its singularity, which is a hint that it is from the future."