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SOLD OUT - The Inmost
Paul Cunningham

SOLD OUT - The Inmost <br> Paul Cunningham
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Paul Cunningham - The Inmost
ISBN 978-1-7347662-0-2
Printed and assembled by Carrion Bloom Books in SLC, UT in 2020

For a free digital version of this chapbook, send an email with the subject "PDF REQUEST" and the chapbook title(s) you want to carrionbloombooks (at) gmail (dot) com.

"I can nearly recall A as
calla lilies cut angles
into my screen-like face
gone all swerve

Praise for The Inmost

Anthropomancy teaches us to see omens in entrails. In The Inmost, Paul Cunningham shows us his guts – and what a show it is. He gives us love in all its gory glory – the broken hearts, the tinsel in intestines. The Inmost is inventive, visceral: a revelation. As I read the book, I felt like a haruspex; that is, I felt I was reading his inmost, and that he had already read mine. What a feeling.

-Derek McCormack, author of The Well-Dressed Wound

I can't tell you how stunned I am by The Inmost. It is so learned and so raw! I had no idea how visceral the entrails, emotional and carnal, would be! And yet, despite the assertion—or is it protest?—that the speaker is the Apollonian poet of "anti-ascent", the experience remembered, dissolved and reconstituted seems to culminate in the frozen image of A's head. It is powerful work and filled with soaring as well as abject images of love and connection. How brave a poet Cunningham is to expose himself to us!

-Maria DiBattista, author of Imagining Virginia Woolf

The Inmost is a starry space between poles: ancient and modern, visceral and virtual, the world of mortals and the world of gods. The rulers here are screen stars, drag queens, and ancient Greek deities: Apollo, Athena, Houdini, Cleopatra, James Dean, and a mysterious "A." Stage magic starts to blur with spiritual transformation. Human desire becomes another spectacle. Cunningham's poetry glitters and slips. Its visions dissolve, flicker past, and cross-fade. The Inmost is a mirror box: a mise en abyme. What's real in these pages? Be prepared for double vision.

laire Cronin, author of Blue Light of the Screen: On Horror, Ghosts, and God (Repeater Books, 2020)

The Inmost plays in the dig-site of the lyric, with an "I" who doubly 'slips' "through [the] ruins" or "on animal livers," nakedly, "under [a] coat of locks." These poems imbricate the reader in a process of encryption, whose speaker flits under a "wingly mosaic." Under names that soar "like gales," this "darkly purple" "I" traces a dexterous swerve, a "hacksaw-gasp," who "comet[s] tragically" in mid-air collisions. These poems light-up the page as a glimmer-parole who can shape-shift at any moment: as a "drag king," a James Dean, a likeness, or a lash, an indeterminate aural terrain who plays many roles. And yet this bristling voice can become just as quickly a graffiti "policed in flashes / exaggerated by codes." But this shadow-world, this image-ball, doesn't just survive the gaze, but can stand-up as a darkly "flaming glimmer," sharpening against "the mirror system / of obliterate."

-Madison McCartha, author of Freakophone World (Inside the Castle, 2021)

About the Author

Paul Cunningham is from Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of The House of the Tree of Sores (Schism2 Press, 2020). From the Swedish, he is the translator of Helena Österlund’s Words (OOMPH! Press, 2019). He has also translated two chapbooks by Sara Tuss Efrik: Automanias (Goodmorning Menagerie, 2016) and The Night’s Belly (Toad Press, 2016). New writing has most recently appeared in Apartment Poetry, Snail Trail, Harvard Review, Poem-a-Day, Kenyon Review, Quarterly West, and others. He is a managing editor of Action Books, co-editor of Radioactive Cloud, and co-curator of the Yumfactory Reading Series. Cunningham is a PhD candidate at the University of Georgia, an invited member of the International Network for Comparative Studies, and he holds a MFA in Poetry from the University of Notre Dame.

Twitter: @p_cunning

About the Book

The Inmost was printed in SLC, UT in 2020 on light blue smooth Mohawk Via paper and bound using the long stitch with hand-dyed linen thread that varies slightly from copy to copy. The cover images were letterpressed from polymer plates on grey cotton Armand Canal paper on a Vandercook press in the University of Utah's Book Arts Studio with support from the Book Arts Program and the University of Utah Student Media Council.

Note (1): this book was assembled in a home with a dog.

Note (2): the spine of this book is relatively fragile and shouldn't have much weight or other books placed on top of it.