I believe in tacos and mortification.
Michael Earl Craig’s third full-length collection of expertly crystalline yet wholly unexpected renderings of everyday existence. A masterwork of lucid dreaming, Thin Kimono continues Craig’s singular breed of brilliant and generously uncanny poems, reflecting, while utterly slanting, the idiosyncrasies of daily existence in the oft-incomprehensible world.
Craig’s third book, like his first two, is a playful and straightforward examination of the everyday turned on its head. His offbeat remarks are a source of surprising amusement and yet somehow familiar. Craig is a fun read, and his accessibility makes his latest book an enjoyable experience for new and seasoned readers alike.
A kind of Whitman for post-Google America...For Craig, there are no truths which don’t acknowledge how little we could ever know of the world, and how beautiful a place it is as a result.
Matt McBride, New Pages
The intuitive leap, grounded by rhyme and subtler resonances, is early warning that the logic of Thin Kimono is that of dreams. Things are named. Time is fundamentally linear. But causality is obscured... Even in the seemingly random firings of a contemporary consciousness, there is a pedestrian suggestion of the possibility of explaining the mind by replicating its moves. And yet the singular consciousness that speaks these poems remains mysterious.
Megan Levad, Boston Review
Ultimately, it’s what Craig sees, and how he sees it, that makes these poems work so well. “Clear writing is clear thinking,” he writes in “Humans.” The obvious danger in such perspicuity is that stripping away all the stylistic and poetic drapery is a bit like being naked in front of a crowded room of insurance salesmen: there’s nothing to conceal one’s human frailties from their prying, insatiable eyes. That Michael Earl Craig’s poems are continually as lean, well-proportioned, and finely chiseled as that other Renaissance giant, Michelangelo’s David (no relation), proves he has nothing at all to hide.
David Sewell, Coldfront
Craig’s Thin Kimono offers an original and gratifying reading experience. The book provides many poems that are worth sharing with non-poets, not only because the lines are enjoyable, but also because the candor and straightforward nature of the work dispels the myth that poetry is abstract and inaccessible.
Karen Wood, Front Porch
It may be unfair to drag biography onto the stage, but Michael Earl Craig lives in Montana and shoes horses for a living, and these frequently seem like poems that might be spoken by someone who lives in Montana and shoes horses for a living. They are precise, cool, metallic poems, laconic and wry. They are the poems of observation and spun-off thought that might easily arise from solitary work. The language is plain, unflowery; it’s the disjointed logic of the images that turns the lines into spare poetry.
Katie Umans, Fiction Writers’ Review
Michael Earl Craig is from Dayton, Ohio, home of the gas mask and the mood ring. He is the author of Woods and Clouds Interchangeable (Wave Books, 2019), Talkativeness (Wave Books, 2014), Thin Kimono (Wave Books, 2010), Yes, Master (Fence Books, 2006), Can You Relax in My House, (Fence Books, 2002), and the chapbook Jombang Jet (Factory Hollow Press, 2012). He lives in the Shields Valley, near Livingston, Montana, where he runs a full-time farrier practice. He was the 2015-2017 Poet Laureate of Montana.
Publication Date: September 1, 2010
ISBN# 9781933517469 (6x8.5 128pp, paperback and limited edition hardcover)