Any Holy City by Mark Conway

Issue #97
Fall 2005

Any Holy City , poems by Mark Conway (Silverfish): Conway’s debut book, Any Holy City, maps a rich and mysterious landscape haunted by ghosts—ghosts of the dead and the living, of addiction, sacrifice, of loss and love. This place, however, is very much alive with a poet fully engaged in the natural and not-so-natural world around him: "We coast on an unlimited sequence / of yes and not—yes which gets us / where we’re going. The darkness / deepens as we travel the electric divine." The result is a book buzzing with life; in fact, the background voices—a kind of primeval susurrus of mosquitoes, bees, gnats, and of all those ghosts—threaten to overwhelm the voice, or the present life, of the poet, but they don’t; rather, all become part of a holy, human, witty, and very moving chorus: " Stick it up your ass, I sing, / and kick around my yard. Everything’s / fine . . ." —David Daniel