Borrowing a title intended but never used by Gilbert Sorrentino, Ammiel Alcalay’s new chapbook, Ghost Talk, is a lyric sequence dwelling on the recovery of place and emotion that have long passed into other states. With a note by musician, cartoonist, and writer Peter Blegvad, and a cover image by Alcalay, Ghost Talk is Alcalay’s first book of poems since his 2011 neither wit nor gold (from then).
From Peter Blegvad's note on Ghost Talk:
"In wistful mood, in slanting light, he’s both himself and universal, recollecting fragments, foreign parts, birds, weather, snowplows. Veteris vestigia flammae. That was all so much then. Now happiness is elsewhere, has no place to go."
PRAISE FOR GHOST TALK
"One of the things poetry does is return us to our senses, the body, its sensations, but also its doubts, sorrows, confusions. Formally, Ghost Talk is a mix of prose and poetry, and while the poetry often seems like fragments of conversation or wisps of thought, with large gaps in between, one aspect of the prose is that the last two lines of most paragraphs are shorter, like poetry: a signal that the impetus behind the thought is receding and something else coming into view. [...]Ghost Talk is a reminder that recollection is always a mixed pleasure."