then, we were still living
A 2011 Lambda Literary Award Finalist
GenPop Books, 2010
Poetry | 6″x8″, 68 pp., trade paperback
In these roughly whispered poems, Klein somehow—miraculously—manages to evoke a past of empty suitcases, of ghosts, while being fully present in the moment, in the now. In this way each phrase, each utterance, is completely weighted-their music enters us deeply, even as they seemingly drift past.
Every once in a great while, someone writes a book that changes the way I read poems. Michael Klein’s then, we were still living is one of those books. Its language is so close to the bone, there’s nothing to interfere with or soften the intimate transactions between reader and poem. When the subject is death, or love, or the great metaphysical questions asked by the soul—and every poem in the book is on that scale—we see that meaning and language are one and the same. I’m going to give copies to everyone I know.