Marco Maisto (Poetry) | Sunnyside, NY
Blurbs, Press & Reviews
Marco Maisto’s debut poetry collection, Traces of a Fifth Column, gives us gorgeous, haunting glimpses of the transhuman future that looms already in the indispensability of our sleek little devices. But Maisto sounds neither a moralistic warning bell nor a death knell for the human race in these poems; rather, he revels in rich layers of feeling and loss as only we humans can. Here, in a space where “communication has become the echo of dissolving planets,” where the “I” has become “a mirage” or “hordes” or “the specters of ourselves that swim still, in the underground aquariums of summers rapidly to come,” Maisto constructs what could be construed as a masterful science fiction, but what is really (or is also) an ethereal, moving paean to the human heart and mind.
There’s nothing that doesn’t belong and no two things that can’t be combined in Marco Maisto’s explosive world of percussive potential, and yet every word is curated; his choices are deliberate, often surprisingly delicate, and always informed by his excellent ear and inventive exuberance. His astonishing linguistic agility juggles through a found journal and an old video tape, through collapsing lions and finch-colored echoes—all within a recurrent address to a you somehow too close to be clearly seen, and thus rendered limitless. Such a radical proliferation of possibility is ultimately contagious—Who are you not? he asks at one point, and the fact that we have no answer is everything.
Murmuring blood magic into our ears, making room for seeing by writing, by stringing sonic bloom across the line, Marco Maisto’s Traces of a Fifth Column is a love poem made of poems working the front and back of what’s felt by listening. Wild shapely diction and beamed-into-mind tonalities (up-closeness) are your guides into the irreducible warmth this gorgeous poetry sings into shape.