Third Place Books Ravenna Ravenna
Tues May 8, 7 pm
Recommended by Rich Smith
Did you ever watch your childhood friend transform into a neo-Nazi right before your eyes? The speaker in Matthew Dickman's Wonderland has, and he details that transformation in a striking series of poems of the same title. The "Wonderland" poems follow a boy named Caleb, who we first meet in his front yard, hitting a stick against a tree trunk. While he's outside with his imaginary sword, Dad's inside the house, hitting Mom in the face. Caleb walks into the "weird dark" of her bedroom to comfort her, clearly powerless against his father's rage. In the next poem, Caleb's anger takes on its particularly strange and cruel character when he encounters a dog behind a fence. He starts spitting on it, "some of the phlegm / getting into the dog's eyes, / its long ears."