Issue 95 |

rev. of The Man Who Sleeps in My Office by Jason Sommer


The Man Who Sleeps in My Office, poems by Jason Sommer (Chicago): Jason Sommer's latest book is tough and nuanced, at turns both public and private, and ambitious in the subjects it takes on: while touring a concentration camp in Prague, a young American couple think of "[t]hose who were naked here / and had their flesh reft from them suddenly" as they make love furtively in the outlying woods; a man purchases a mynah bird to keep his sick wife company, and then must listen when it "turns impressionist" after she's passed away. A poet primarily concerned with ethics, Sommer boldly asks his reader: "Say a writer imagines something horrible / for a character . . . who is the author of the eventual deed?"