Thomas Devaney is a poet and the author of You Are the Battery (Black Square Editions, 2019) Getting to Philadelphia (Hanging Loose Press, 2019), Runaway Goat Cart (Hanging Loose Press, 2015), Calamity Jane (Furniture Press Books, 2014), The Picture that Remains with photographer Will Brown (The Print Center, 2014), A Series of Small Boxes (Fish Drum, 2007), and The American Pragmatist Fell in Love (Banshee Press, 1999). Devaney is the producer and co-director with Greenhouse Media of the documentary The Bicentennial in Philadelphia (slated for 2020). He is a 2014 Pew Fellow in the Arts and teaches at Haverford College.
You are the Battery by Thomas Devaney
When you read a Denvaney poem, he is fully "there," although to himself he is "now." He takes you into his observations, common enough subjects of contemplation, and makes them subtle as he turns them around for you in the light of his attention. Voila, the uncommon, the camouflage reality wears. He offers a perfectly finished narrative puzzle ("How to Keep Alive"), a mental collage that really works ("The Pileup"), a wry down-to-earth Irish nostalgia without false sentiment ("One of Those Songs"). He can make a head-bending perception seem simple through care of construction ("When I felt Free"). Exactness and restraint. Born-to-tell stuff. You are the Battery and me, we got engaged. You'll read this book a few times over and come back.