May 7, 2009

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Falling Brick Kills Local Man, by Mark Kraushaar (University of Wisconsin Press, 2009, 83 pages)
By Dan Szczesny letters@hippopress.com
Mark Kraushaar’s first collection is a fast, sublime series of small short stories, all detailing a moment or a second in everyday life. From a wife’s sad and funny letter to Walt Whitman about the failure of her husband, to tabloid stories, to the real story behind a 1-900 number, Falling Brick Kills Local Man is like a bunch of clever headlines, each more poignant than the last. The best poem of the book, and one of the best I’ve read this year, is “At the Greyhound Station,” a simple meditation on an old women sitting at a bus station entertaining a small child with a throat machine while waiting passengers look on: “the two of them sat there playing / creature from space because, / of course, that’s exactly / what this electric thing sounded like, / an alien.” Kraushaar’s career is off to a great start with this surprising;y likable collection. B+