Review by Catherine Woodward at Eyewear.
“Rapid, surprising and unlikely, JT Welsch’s poems spin brilliant variations on the recession, translation, gender studies and war. Strangely and completely convincingly, these subjects are refracted through the love poems which comprise this pamphlet. Hammered out in stanzas which show an inviting formal authority and are a pleasure to read, Orchids re-routes the work of his great St. Louis predecessors for the 21st century.” —JOHN MCAULIFFE
“Orchids is a distinguished debut: clever but emotional, ingenious but affecting. The poems are a self-sufficient pleasure, and promise very well for the future.” —ANDREW MOTION
The Man from the Phone Company
A man from the phone company
hoists his great blue handset,
settling on the savage rhythms
it will accentuate for him.
I watch because I cannot listen.
In town, you’re buying something
you found last week, not hidden
in the library, as I’ve told him.
While he works, I see your paper-
white, down-penciled belly until
another stone-eyed blackbird
has a go at our leafless grapes,
nearly as dark as it by now.
The man has taken no notice.
My heart goes out to hands like
his, like paws. I need their pity.