Some Unimaginable Animal
Poems by David Ebenbach
Named a May 2019 “Must-Read” by The Millions!
paper / 60pp. / $16.00
Distributed to the trade by Itasca Books
1-800-901-3480 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
ABOUT THE BOOK
In his much-anticipated second poetry collection, David Ebenbach addresses the full scope of the human condition—past, present, and future. Exploring the vast sweep of history, from our ancient evolutionary origins to our future archaeological remains, Ebenbach’s deceptively light-handed poems penetrate to the core of what it means to be human, a brief but exquisite being, full of appetites both healthy and harmful.
“A funny, tender, inviting collection, whose traits come from Ebenbach’s gifts of storytelling.”
–Nick Ripatrazone, The Millions
“If Eden had been a city God could have relaxed,” begins one poem in David Ebenbach’s Some Unimaginable Animal, imagining an Eden where Adam and Eve walk right by the apple tree and a stray cat makes “quick work of anything that slithered.” Such is the wit and wisdom that fills this book. Ebenbach is a seeker and seer, steeped in Jewish tradition and, like Walt Whitman, a poet who so loves the world, with its griefs, mysteries, and joys, that he teaches us to love the world with him.
–Jesse Lee Kercheval
Sometimes wisdom is offered with a light touch, with a wink and a nod. Sometimes the poem that charms us is the poem that disarms us, not because we are persuaded that we no longer need to be on constant guard against the threats of the world, but rather because our sense of wonder is restored to us, wonder that is wide enough to hold the pleasure and pain of the world. David Ebenbach’s poems in his marvelous new book Some Unimaginable Animal are charming and wise. “There’s enough / light here that // everything lives, and sees,” Ebenbach writes in a poem about the physical universe, and our place in it, on earth, in relation to the sun. We’re “nothing,” he writes, “even to the moon.” Even so, the poem concludes, “the oceans try to rise to it.” Ebenbach’s poems, full of light and life, see everything, from the origins of life to our contemporary moment, and rise in wonder in response to what they see. Cling to this book. It will add life to your life.
“We could barely concentrate on repentance,” Ebenbach wryly claims early in his wonderfully observant collection Some Unimaginable Animal. And, really, who cares about repentance when we have Ebenbach’s astute imagination riveted on insect jaws, small flippers of dolphins, everyday hungers, outlines of homes, and the Universe’s everything of everywhere? These are poems that rejoice in all that is creaturely and make sharp fun at our brief place on earth. And if we are ever tempted to get whiney and world-weary, these wise and important poems remind us in the most generous way that “the snow / follows us just to say, get over yourselves, / we all have our problems.”
If Eden Had Been a City
If Eden had been a city God could have relaxed,
planted the apple tree in front of row houses
and Adam and Eve would have walked right by,
down to where the corner store would have had
bottled juice and mini-pies and cider donuts.
They would sit out on their front steps with some
nice beats coming out of the window, faces sticky
with flavors, dazed and looking at all the different
skinny trees up and down the block, still springtime,
thinking, Damn, this is good. They would be full,
too full for trouble. Nearby, a stray cat would stalk
the patchy grass along the curb, making quick work
of anything that slithered.