by Michael Sikkema
$16.00 | June 2015
Available on SPD and Amazon
Michael Sikkema’s May Apple Deep, both sweet and tart, is the pastoral for our time. Filled with the energy of opposites, with “a gangsta soundtrack” where “overpasses / become sniper towers,” is a book length lyric punctuated by grids or fragments of the grid-like structure. Electric and challenging, quietly terrifying in places, trying to break through (“trespass”) “all this noise,” desire (“household magic”) makes a run for it and, in the end, wins out.
Walker Percy was fond of declaring serious writers as ex-suicides—“he starts with himself as nothing and makes something of the nothing with things at hand.” The emptying of this egoistic self allows writer and reader to gather into the unknown tethered to an enigma. In Mike Sikkema’s May Apple Deep, readers encounter a world we know and have forgotten: a snowed-in town of the cut short and war-torn, where taxidermy, twang, porch talk, and a “fixing of the light” are shared territory. Here, the house you most know becomes a rifle, reckless under the surface, wild dogs on the other side of the street: all a lie or it’s a lie: this town where you can run into your own ass. Spaces enact gut punches in the fragmentary spaces of your living. Post-your dreaming, after your remembering, “we,” when “we” forget, Sikkema’s collection brings us back from this nothing into a world known, fast, trembling.
About the Author
Michael Sikkema is the author of Futuring and January Found (Blazevox Books), as well as several chapbooks, most recently the forthcoming 3003 Houses (Little Red Leaves Textile Series), Time Missing (Grey Book Press), and a collaboration with Elisabeth Workman entitled Moon Poon (Pity Milk Press). He is a co-editor of Horse Less Press, the editor of Shirt Pocket Press, and co-hosts the Poetry and Pints reading series in Grand Rapids, MI with Jen Tynes.