Sad Little Breathing Machine (Paperback)
Graywolf Press, 9781555973964, 80pp.
Publication Date: March 1, 2004
Harvey, whose debut collection was praised by the New Yorker
as "intensely visual, mournfully comic and syntactically
inventive," offers her second stunning collection
Units are the engines
I understand best.
One betrayal, two.
Merrily, merrily, merrily.
-from "Introduction to the World"
In Sad Little Breathing Machine, Matthea Harvey explores the strange and intricate mechanics of human systems-of the body, of thought, of language itself. These are the engines, like poetry, that propel both our comprehension and misunderstanding. "If you're lucky," Harvey writes, "after a number of / revolutions, you'll / feel something catch."
"I pictured myself arriving at an amusement park, only none of the rides are familiar. I considered running away. I could break my neck or be catapulted into the sky. I might never be seen again. It's only poetry, I reminded myself, and climbed on board. I'm tossed and bucked and jabbed and lashed and flipped. I'm having a nearly insane amount of fun, and I don't want it to ever end." --James Tate