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The Wine Dark Sea
by Mathias Svalinas
76 pages ~ 76 poems
ISBN: 1-940090-05-9
Price; $15.00 US
Publisher: Sidebrow Books
Purchase at: Sidebrow Books


In a clear-cut voice "as simple as ink," Mathias Svalina's The Wine-Dark Sea
vocalizes the urge to write oneself alive. Through this lyric journal of taut
poems, each titled "The Wine-Dark Sea," Svalina breathes life into overlooked
places: the driveway a car turns into at the end of a workday, how a tree holds
the dirt, the edge of a page on which "I'd always assumed / I'd die alone." Every
poem is a baffled drop, a pulse trying not to be dead, and beneath the spine of
each sentence, Svalina hides, carrying us, seeking an exit. It is impossible not
to be stained by The Wine-Dark Sea.


"Svalina's speaker tears at coverings to unveil what is inside, and he discovers
that what is inside is ripping those insides apart."
‐Katie Hibner, Queen Mob's Teahouse


Mathias Svalina was born in Chicago. He is the author of Wastoid (Big Lucks
Books, 2014), The Explosions (Subito Press, 2012), I Am a Very Productive
(Mud Luscious Press, 2011) and Destruction Myths State
University Poetry Center, 2009). He is an editor for Octopus Books and
teaches writing in Denver, Colorado.


The Wine-Dark Sea
by Mathias Svalinas

I want
what the date wants
from its box,
printed in lip.

The concerto
cast a morning
beneath bridges
where ropes dangle.

I cannot stand
inside myself.

What emerged
when I opened my mouth
was a thanking tomb.

So we tremble.
Do we tremble?

We tremble.


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