Reviews (We Deserve The Gods We Ask For)

I loved Seth Brady Tucker’s first book, Mormon Boy, and I love this one more. Whether he is speaking of (as) Wile E. Coyote metaphorically, or speaking as a man who jumped out of airplanes (not for fun) and fired and was fired upon, or when he is speaking his remarkable love poems, you know you are hearing (I’m purposefully using “speaking” and “hearing” instead of writing and reading) something authentic, and true.

–Thomas Lux, author of God Particles and Split Horizon

Through these poems echo “the vibrations/of bare feet on hollow concrete…/at first like children at play,/and then like children at war,/and then feet shuffling in blood.”  Seth Brady Tucker writes of cartoon heroes, soldiers, lost brothers, new lovers, and undying ghosts with humor, pathos, wit, and remorse.  The poems in We Deserve the Gods We Ask For want to break your heart.  If you let them, they will.

–Camille T. Dungy, author of Smith Blue

Pain of dreaming over din of cartoons with pharmaceutical advertisements has answers in the courage Seth Brady Tucker brings to poetry.  We’re leaning on the doorjamb of his experience, a soldier letting air back into his lungs, and our lungs, one line at a time.  “Spirit am listens to god noise. Spirit am translate. Spirit am move, live, work, for god noise.”  A poet who listens for the rest of us to the pulse that could be our blood, could be a man falling from the sky, could be love with a pen and a helmet.  This book is nothing less than amazing!

–CAConrad, author of ECODEVIANCE

The poems in Seth Brady Tucker’s We Deserve The Gods We Ask For are acrobatic and epic and make me happy that poetry is still a place where we can re-envision the old questions about life and the spirit. In the book, I hear echoes of our great American masters, like Ashbery, Hemingway, Plath, Merwin, and Stein, infused in a new voice with the rhetorical bravado of a 100 swallows swarming the forest, 1000 preachers booming the word of the soul, and 10,000 conductors of a never-ending symphony of being that extends from this world into the next. Bravo to this poet, who tells us so nonchalantly it’s: “God here. As in big G God. As in, listen up.” Listen up. Read this book.

–Dorothea Lasky, author of Thunderbird and ROME

Gritty and unflinching, the poems in Seth Brady Tucker’s We Deserve the Gods We Ask For confront the contested territory between resignation and resilience in a world where suffering is imminent. From paratroopers to Popeye, Tucker gives us hardened vantage points that survey the “losses only faith can redeem.” This is sinewy writing at its most sturdy and tenacious. His “tangle of silk and muscle” is sure to stagger and transfix.

–Lisa Graley, author of Box of Blue Horses

The centrifugal force produced within Tucker’s second poetry collection attempts to give agency to our collective selves by first acknowledging our existences, then trying to separate them from the likenesses we allow to be created by our “gods,” whether they be politics or war, the imaginary heroes that rule our dreams and fantasies, or idealisms of romantic love. Even the conception of “art” itself is identified as yet another filler in life’s “road filled with empty spaces.” Ultimately, Tucker writes his poetry the only way it’s supposed to be written, with an unflinching awareness of its power and its danger: “And I would dream/ only about who I was before I became who I am.”

–US Review of Books



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