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Pictures That Got Small, Poems by James Brock

James Brock’s collection Pictures That Got Small is cinematic in the same way that memory, both personal and collective, is cinematic: the sprawling narrative of life is contained onto a smaller space—the screen, the page—where it may dazzle us anew.  

Sample Poems by James Brock

Gods & Money by James Brock

“Jim Brock’s Pictures That Got Small offers readers a lush, sexy, nostalgic (in the best sense of the word) look at old Hollywood, the experimental films of Matthew Barney, and home movies of southern Florida. Irreverent and unpredictable, intelligent and haunting, deadpan and dead serious, these poems are buoyant and felicitous. So visceral is Brock’s romp, a reader might think she’s reached for the wrong specs—her reading glasses will feel like they’re 3-D.”—Denise Duhamel

Pictures That Got Small is a surprising, funny, dazzling, sharp-tongued assault on our world-as-seen-through-the-movies. With laser-sited use of language, Brock bores through traditional poetic walls into the darker realms of our collective dreaming. From stripping the latex off the Creature From the Black Lagoon, to Matthew Barney’s ‘parallel life’ as pro football quarterback, to Miranda Richardson as the Cheetah-Woman, to Laurel and Hardy’s encounter on an Alpine bridge with a gorilla, Brock dissolves and redefines the concept of metamorphosis, snatching it away from Ovid and Kafka and Hollywoodizing it through the voice of a Prankster Poet. These poems are a startling and unique contribution to the world of contemporary poetry, a world in need of a healthy shot of humorous originality.

“With a supporting cast of characters ranging from Sonia Henie to Hemingway, Norman Mailer to Dean Martin, Budd Schulberg to Jake The Snake, Jim Otto to Jim Brock himself, this collection of word-cocktails entertains and enlightens us with a kick as potent and satisfying as a tall vodka-orange juice on a hot Florida night. With a precision of word choice, image, and symbolism that only the best poets know how to reach, Jim Brock enters the worlds of football and fornication, film and fantasia, flops and Florida with the matter-piercing power of destabilized neutrinos, transforming the dreams and desires of popular culture and popular people into pumped-up, high-octane poetry.”—Bruce Gatenby

James Brock is the author of two previous books of poetry, The Sunshine Mine Disaster (University of Idaho Press) and nearly Florida (Anhinga Press). For his poetry, he has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Alex Haley Foundation, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the Idaho Commission for the Arts. He currently is a professor of English at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida, where he enjoys birding and film.  After he dies, his spirit will go with Hope Lange to Manhattan in 1957, drink cocktails and trade smokes with Joan Crawford, wear Edith Head suits and pajamas, all in his The Best of Everything afterlife.

ISBN 1932339841, 80 pages, $17.00

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