Poetry, chapbook, 44 pages, from Bottlecap Features.
The collection a finely calibrated apocalypse explores various themes and emotions including love, longing, impermanence, the mundane, and the inexorable passage of time. The poems offer a blend of melancholy and hope about the concurrent beauty and absurdity of our shared experience. “I can explain. A sad pastry…” begins one poem that eventually ends with no explanation and instead changes the definition of the word “end” to mean something more useful.
When emotions appear more sustainable than comprehensive meaning, stark images of shoplifting out of boredom are juxtaposed with the surreal urge to reach a hand into someone’s head. Existential loneliness manifests as a humming refrigerator. A one-eyed dog knows the origin of home. A mushroom trip peaks inside of a thrift store. A drive-through speaker seems to be the only thing willing to listen. Meditative, lyrical, and often funny, these poems navigate the anxieties of personal and universal shifts to look for cures or create meaning inside the arbitrary nature of existence.
Chris Barton’s work has been featured online and in print in places like Peach Magazine, Hotel, Hobart, HAD, The Plenitudes, Maudlin House, Mergoat Mag, and elsewhere. This is his first chapbook. He currently lives in Knoxville, TN with his cat, Scrutiny, a bona fide cuddle demon. Find him on Instagram: @chrisnbarton