In stock


Publication Date: May 2011


How do you make the connections between objects, events and people even as they are ineluctably changing? How do you balance a burgeoning awareness of the marvels and subtractions of History with the demanding influx of personal experience? Marc McKee’s debut full-length collection is a sustained attempt to substitute poems for answers to such questions. Whether in a car crossing the Mississippi River on the way back from a funeral, overhearing the rationalizations of an asteroid from the future, or watching local news, Fuse is what happens when different objects and their particular sensations are bound together by the heat lightning of ticking clocks. It means experiencing the visibly disappearing lines separating sparks from explosions. The speakers in Fuse believe in escape velocities, and people, and rising from crucibles of ash, and salad. This is what happens when you try to get everything to speak to everything else.


“Able to crash with the best of jets, Marc McKee’s poems rise from their own stupendous and generous wreckage with the best that art can give us, the amazement of being alive, the onslaught of music and the suddenness of insight. Always explosive and lit, Fuse burns with the fury of a many-minded intelligence and an ever-expanding heart.”

-Dean Young

“In his best poems (and there are many best poems in this book) Marc McKee achieves the impossible: his verse is quicker than life. There’s a wonderful gallop in these lines. The jetliner of poetry triumphs over local trains of everyday existence…”

-Adam Zagajewski

“When experience accumulates so quickly we hardly have time to call it ‘history,’ there’s no ‘safe side’ to find our way to. But when a poet can describe the state we’re in like Marc McKee, it’s an indescribable relief. Fuse is lit with velocity and visible song-the singing so fierce and sweet and accurate we can bear the suspense and find in it a blessing.”

-Marie Howe

About the Author

Marc McKee

Marc McKee is the author of one chapbook and four full-length collections of poetry: What Apocalypse?, winner of the 2008 New Michigan Press / DIAGRAM Chapbook Contest, and Fuse (2011), Bewilderness (2014), Consolationeer (2017), and Meta Meta Make-Belief (forthcoming, 2019), all from Black Lawrence Press. His poetry appears in online and print journals such as American Poetry Review, Bennington Review, Conduit, Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, Forklift, Ohio, The Journal, Los Angeles Review, Memorious, Sixth Finch, and others. He teaches at the University of Missouri, and is managing editor of the Missouri Review in Columbia, Missouri, where he lives with his wife Camellia Cosgray and their son, Harold.

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