Phantom Pains of Madness
Phantom Pains of Madness
By Noelle Kocot
Noelle Kocot recalls a break with reality that occurred a decade and a half ago in vivid, raw language, one word per line. The resulting slender columns are sharply focused and intense. There's a cult following for her unique imagination, self-professed in a poem as “filled with pulchritude and peopleness,” and her seventh collection does not disappoint.
- Kocot follows Soul in Space with a collection that should further confirm some readers’ views of her as a visionary poet called to despair or ecstasy, delight or shame, by forces beyond her control.
As faith in language and in God weave in and out of possibly skewed perceptions, what object of desire could be so unwavering as to provide satisfaction? [Phantom Pains of Madness] ends with the image of a light green bug hopping from “word / into / sun.” So, too, does Kocot hop through language—into the self, into want, into God, and into whimsy, desire, and beauty.
Erin Lyndal Martin, Tarpaulin Sky
The book pushes forward one foot at a time in the most literal poetic sense. And therein enters this sense that life is unfolding. There is no need for rigidity. Kocot has learned to parse the planet and her world one unit at a time. This is the most appealing and noteworthy part of the book. A commitment, to never falter from the solution and layout to the work. In this, the connection can be seen between Phantom Pains and the human experience and the way in which quality art moves us between.
Benjamin Champagne, NewPages
Noelle Kocot is the author of many collections of poetry, including God's Green Earth (Wave Books, forthcoming 2020), Phantom Pains of Madness (Wave Books, May 2016), Soul in Space (Wave Books, 2013), The Bigger World (Wave Books, 2011), and a book of translations of some of the poems of Tristan Corbière, Poet by Default (Wave Books, 2011). Her previous works include the discography Damon's Room, (Wave Books Pamphlet Series, 2010), Sunny Wednesday (Wave Books, 2009) and Poem for the End of Time and Other Poems (Wave Books, 2006). She is also the author of 4 and The Raving Fortune (both from Four Way Books). Her poems have been anthologized in Best American Poetry in 2001, 2012, and 2013. She is the recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, The Fund for Poetry, the American Poetry Review, and a residency fellowship from the Lannan Foundation, and she has taught at the University of Texas New Writers' Project and currently teaches part-time at the New School. She is the Poet Laureate of Pemberton Borough, New Jersey.
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
ISBN# 9781940696300 (5x7 96pp, paperback)
ISBN# 9781940696256 (5x7 96pp, limited edition hardcover)