From the author of You Must Remember This, an uncanny collection of poems that plumbs our capacity for cruelty and for wonder.
Who? A speaker at once questioner and questioned. An artist who embraces and resists what his work requires of him. “A naked / man in a crowd.”
What? Poems at once surreal and vulnerable, refusing to hide their uncomfortable truths behind their wildest imaginings.
Where? In the mind, where “Nobody fails at meditation / like I do.” Outside dreamlike cities. In the rich earth under a simple mattress. In new, disorienting fables and seemingly familiar folktales.
When? As a child, spurning his mother. As a young man, seeking wisdom and peace. And as an older man, looking back at what he once was.
Suffused in psychology, uncertainty, and desire, The Interrogation is a catechism of the self—or selves. Inside this collection’s hall of mirrors, faces double and multiply endlessly, and voices echo, laugh, and taunt. Why? these poems ask. Why does art demand sacrifice? Why does the heart want what it wants? And how do we escape loneliness?
The Interrogation is an accomplished collection, unsparingly honest, infused with yearning and laced with dark humor.
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Praise and Prizes
"The Interrogation reminds me that we always have the choice to revel in the striking strangeness of the world we live in, and that we do not have to accept anyone’s life at face value, especially our own. In this daringly disarming world built of wondrous and wondering words, cities have faces, moonlight is poured into aquariums, a man with no mouth speaks, mothers prank call their sons, and fire has many names. 'Life is a joke best left unspoken,' asserts the title poem, and the more I read of this adept and artful work, the more true that becomes. To read Michael Bazzett’s poems is to reach through the thick veil separating us from the most tender, timeless, and true parts of ourselves that we both dread and cherish. I hope everyone will read this book."
"Michael Bazzett's poems are as tragic and unsettling as they are compelling and beautifully precise."
"In The Interrogation, Bazzett establishes himself a keen questioner of the eye and ear; a poet fully able to construct and inhabit this world, and those beyond, through lush aural and visual engagement. With the lyrical dexterity and sonic authority of a master craftsman, Bazzett gleans epistemic truths from both natural and preternatural sources and delivers crisp, unforced poems of sheer beauty. Readers will find themselves rapt by Bazzett’s audacious and perfect storm of song, symbol and earnest sight."
"'You don’t expect/our warmth/to be the thing/that obscures us,' Michael Bazzett writes in a book that explores the limits of identity and definition. His work is a vivid reminder that imagination makes the world strange in order for us to see what we’ve forgotten or taken for granted. There's also one stop shopping here, as you’ll get surrealism, lyricism, and narrative, often within the same poem, which makes his work both full and lithe. Best of all, he's a poet who'll take you where no one else can. You’ll want to stay there."