This week cannot be total crap, and here’s proof: at least one great thing has already happened: TSky press chapbook author Emily Toder (see Brushes with) has published her first full-length collection of poetry, the sort of poetry only Emily Toder can write, poetry that makes you wonder why you don’t get to live every day in the surreal Pythagorean-curio-shop-and-magic-garden world that Toder’s poems inhabit, until you realize that you actually can live there every day, via the afore-alluded-to fibrous portal called a book, the newest and biggest and bestest of which is called SCIENCE, cloned by Coconut Books and made viral by Small Press Distribution.

Here’s what other poets are saying about the wonders of Science:

“Playful and smart, Emily Toder’s Science is written in a limpid vernacular of sudden lacunae, jumps, and about-faces. For all the poems’ contemporaneity, they are haunted by an unsaid and probably indeterminate mystical experience”  — Eugene Ostashevsky

“Toder’s poems are never wrong because they mean everything they say, like a hard science. This book should be required reading in all geometry classrooms. And by reading in, I mean death to.”  –Zachary Schomburg

“Soon after reading Science, you will realize you are already nostalgic for the experience. You will miss its serial astonishments. You will get caught up again in each experiment and feel grateful for each hypothesis as it solidified or dissolved. You will become, gradually, suspended in its solution. ‘A symbol is not a neutral command,’ Toder says. By this time you will have wiped your memory of geometry, because hers is better. This poetry ‘leads to its own physics, it holds the attention.'” — Shanna Compton

& Here’s a lovely Toder bender originally published at notnostrums*:

Gerunds in Spring

I will describe the weather:
It is a bit cloudy
and any number of degrees
It is like a lamb coming and a lamb going
and a lamb strolling on a knoll,
a lamb beginning
We are all bored with it
so we describe it all day:
It was like a lamb peeling an onion
Clouds are like spring bulbs
It was like an onion rubbing up
against a cheesecloth
Go get your kayak
The air is a peaceful warrior
We are bored so we describe all day
A tree rocks
I think about my own dying
I mean I get to thinking about my own dying


And here’s a new twist on ye olde talking oval, from Emily’s chapbook, Brushes with, which TSky’s publisher says he foresaw–roughly three minutes into reading its manuscript form, while sitting outside the post office–would be published by his press. A prophecy that, amazingly, turned out to be correct.

[There was an oval in the river and I went up to it]

There was an oval in the river and I went up to it
it was a subtle oval very couth and formfit
there was an inner light coming from it
and that light was lighting the river
I fastened my boat to a tree
stomped on my torch in the light of the oval
my face lit up and the oval took it on
I stayed there talking to myself for a little while
the tree grew light it was draping over the oval
I told this to myself
and the sky over the oval grew light
I sung the oval’s praises
You must be some sort of god I told it
You flatter yourself it replied
I thought
I may be flattered I said
but you are flatter
It rumbled and the moon rose to meet me
rousing the sun at the same time
so that the light was wrong
and to invoke mortality
a live fish in my boat flopped
and its eyes glazed
No, you are flatter
said the now very clean oval


And here’s a little info about the author:

Emily Toder is the author of Science (Coconut Books, 2012) and the chapbooks Brushes with (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2010) and I Hear a Boat (Duets Books, 2010). A graduate of the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, she also holds master’s degrees in literary translation and library science. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she writes, translates, and works in a university archives.