'Brien's [is] a poetry that asks for patient attention, and gives back all the void's abundance."—Rain Taxi
"Whether in a poem composed using words and phrases from the Patriot Act, a sestina with dauntingly common repeating end words, or in flat-out theory, O'Brien shows himself to be capable of portraying the muddled traffic of life in the Internet age."—Publishers Weekly (starred review for Metropole)
In his most autobiographical collection to date, Geoffrey G. O'Brien explores—via the "promise of happiness" in great works of art—the dream of a working freedom not relegated to Sundays. Crossing traditional poetic material with contemporary political struggle, O'Brien captures the complex feelings of the present.
Here again just a few minutes
To see what we've done with what they let us have.
Like spring in Washington, D.C.
The way we're taught to imagine days
As reprieves from other days, cherries snowing
Inexpressiveness, the nation's capital
An experience of how it is to be
Caught up in pink and white again.
Geoffrey G. O'Brien is the author of Metropole (2011), Green and Gray (2007), and The Guns and Flags Project (2002), all from University of California Press. He is the co-author (with John Ashbery and Timothy Donnelly) of Three Poets: Ashbery, Donnelly, O'Brien (Minus A Press, 2012). O'Brien teaches at UC Berkeley and also for the Prison University Project at San Quentin State Prison.