The prepublication sales period for my new chapbook, From Every Moment a Second, runs through August 11. The book’s tentative release date is October 6. Please note: prepublication sales determine the print run, which means this stage is crucial in terms of how many copies will be printed and the number of copies I’ll receive as payment. So if you feel inclined to help, and are able, please purchase your copy during this period. Order here. Thank you!
What they’re saying:
From the sex lives of mayflies to the plus and minus of human love, in his backyard or over the kitchen sink, Robert Okaji is a soul whisperer. With zen-like precision and depth he shepherds us between the habitual world, in which “the house finch sings as if/all air will expire at song’s end” and invisible realms where “the pear tree’s ghost shudders” and time does its magic act: “your breath/still out there//drifting”. He makes you think—a lot—then gives you a reason to laugh (“Wait, wait…I bought a ticket”). These poems please the palate in so many ways!
Robert Okaji has an uncanny knack for observing what moves in the shadow of a word: in the numinously ordinary things abiding on shelves and in boxes. Writing with a reticent and inquisitive eye, he finds the unspoken grace in an unremarkable bird, an incomplete spice rack, or the soapy remnants of a morning shave, all documented in the inevitable music of his craft. The result is this chapbook: a rustic, elegant anthology of doubt and illumination, and superior example of 21st century Americana.
–Daniel Schnee, ethnomusicologist.
We worry about where we are in this new century, but here is a poet whose concerns are one step ahead of us — delving centuries behind to get there. If we are indeed in a deeper “economy of dying” as he writes in “Take Away,” then Robert Okaji is our foremost venture capitalist — investing the grim with whimsy, rejoicing without looking away, looking forward without forgetting. Be warned, nothing is too easy in his world; even comfort is a “runaway bus,” and having a ticket does not guarantee it will stop for you.
–Jeff Schwaner, author of Wind Intervals.