There Must Be a Reason People Come Here
Author: Brian Foley
Publisher: Black Ocean (2022)
The philosopher Catherine Malabou once asked: “What should we do so that consciousness of the brain does not purely and simply coincide with the spirit of capitalism?” There Must Be A Reason People Come Here by Brian Foley is a collection of poems that attempts to answer this question by broadcasting the indirect effects of the lived condition of a subject squeezed under the structures of late capitalism.
Lines like, “Hope is a chemical, not a dream ignited in the eye / that can be heard sober.” And “There is no sun here, / just habits of light” work through the contradictions of what it means to be negatively capable. It is a collection of poems that refuses to conform to the norms of what poetry is and how it must say things.
"The poems in Foley's first collection, The Constitution, seem to undo themselves in order to form themselves. In their best moments, I feel as if I am writing the poems as they are being written, or at least witnessing their revelation. This is live poetry. As the collection progresses, and amendment after amendment keeps trying to comfort the state of self, I do not want the collection to end. In the final poem Foley writes 'we are very rarely / at the beginning / of something.' This book is a testament to that which we so want to hold onto and that which is forever escaping us—time. I have already read this book many times, and I will read it many more."