No Sign on the Island, by Blake Wallin

No Sign on the Island, by Blake Wallin

  • $ 15.00

No Sign on the Island isn't sure why you're here but is glad you've made the journey. The world is a brutal place. This book is here to help you feel better about it. Travels abroad, troubles at home, friendships breaking, mental health, and sexuality are all specks of sand on this large island. Pick up these specks, inspect them thoroughly until you swallow them. Let them become the part of you staring out into an open ocean with no hope of ever escaping.

This new deluxe full-length edition includes poems from Wallin's previous chapbooks, No Sign on the Island and Soft Or, and features illustrations by Joseph Whitt.

In No Sign on the Island, Wallin is a frantic tinkerer of words and ideas. He’s an experimenter toiling over his neuroses like they can be pinned down and studied. This expanded edition brings together Wallin’s best work from several projects, squaring his black humor and anxieties with a host of modern specters: family, drugs, philosophy, inertia. There’s bravery in the way he lays bare his psychological scar tissue. But he offers hope, too. These poems remind us: “Fix something along its own lines,/ and you have solved its broken life/ and turned a null set into a blossom.” -August Smith, editor, Cool Skull Press

No Sign on the Island made me long for something that I can’t put a finger on, maybe touch. There is something about Blake Wallin’s writing that is always relatable. It’s as if he has studied human emotion and thought to the point that he can tell you exactly how you are feeling, even if you weren’t aware you were feeling it. I would honestly recommend reading this book again and again and again in order to digest it all. It’s brilliant. -Erin Taylor, author of OOOO

From the book:

If Only You Could Assure Me

Mounted on top of mounting criticism,
I take what solace I can get in this life

(By life I mean financial institution
And by solace I mean forgery)

Breakneck speed counteracting itself
Inside little primadonna-speak

(By primmadonna-speak I mean galaxies
And by speed I mean black holes)

I thrive on pressure, but sometimes
I take that fact for granted

(By pressure I mean alienating myself
And by that fact I mean just “that”)

Equations to solve before bedtime,
Sometimes solve themselves

(By equations I mean problems
And by themselves I mean nothing)

I can’t read poetry without you;

It’s something I’m learning gradually

(By poetry I mean roadsigns
By gradually I mean every day)

-featured in coffin corner issue 1 (link)

Late (via Maudlin House)