Philip Fried

Early/Late: New and Selected Poems (Salmon, 2011)

from Lem Coley's review in the American Book Review:

"Not content to chronicle the small beer of perception and memory, [Fried] wants to engage what literary intellectuals really think about... And the engagement is enacted with the tools of postmodernity—pastiche, irony, 'the wearing of a linguistic mask,' but with an intellectual grasp, stylistic precision and moral penetration that bring our lives into focus."

sample poem from the book:

Celestial, Inc.

I regret to inform you that, in the purview of immutable discretion, it has now become necessary to downsize the elect.

It may seem strange that of the great body of humankind some like yourself, predestined to salvation, should be laid off.

But please bear in mind that the Boss does not guarantee for all an eternal position, and even those initially receiving the wages of grace may be let go.

It must be plain how greatly ignorance of this principle detracts from his glory and impairs true humility.

In your pre-termination meeting, you will be briefed on re-salvation options. You may come as a grievant or a supplicant.

Now, quickly step away from your papers, even those with only stray marks and doodles, and a guard will escort you from the Office.

If you have any question about how your severance reveals the obscurity of the Boss’s say-so, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for the services you have rendered, and I wish you every success in your post-salvation existence.

Selected Works

Poetry
Poems about politics and a character named God
Poems about aspects of the national security state
This book draws from Philip Fried's previous four collections of poetry.

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