In his third collection, Matthew Guenette continues to explore work and class, this time from the perspective of a narrator who is perpetually—and outrageously—on the run. These voice-driven and formally inventive poems yearn and shout, tremble in a delirium of parenting and partnering, and thrash with humor and a blue-collar sensibility.
What’s weird is that I haven’t laughed this hard reading poetry—or, for that matter, laughed this hard doing anything else—in a long time. What’s weird is that at the end of the book I felt melancholy and close to somebody (or maybe something, maybe nothing, maybe a six pack of shitty beer). What’s weird is I thought of the word “insect,” and then of the phrase “chicken nuggets.” What’s weird is actually being somebody’s father after having one. What’s weird is how impossibly absurd it all is: marriage, kids, drugs, death, more drugs. What’s weird is that Vasectomania is a book for the whole family. However, the weirdest thing of all is that these poems are so brilliantly, shockingly honest, open, and true to what’s ordinary that it’s totally clear how extraordinary life is, even when it’s paradise flushed down the toilet, even when somebody’s screaming for more of it. Matthew Guenette’s written a twenty-first century American classic—loving, irreverent, hilarious, and dark. What’s weird is that every fucking light in the house is on, and right now he’s outside mowing his lawn. —Matt Hart
About the Author
Matthew Guenette received an MFA from Southern Illinois University. He is the author of two previous poetry collections: American Busboy (University of Akron Press, 2011) and Sudden Anthem (Dream Horse Press, 2008) as well as a chapbook, Civil Disobedience(Rabbit Catastrophe Press, 2017). Recent work has appeared in Forklift: Ohio, Spoon River Poetry Review, Sou’wester, Southern Indiana Review, and TYPO. He lives in Madison, WI, and teaches composition and creative writing at Madison College.