Mooncalf Almanac, by Matt Schumacher-Print Books-Bottlecap Press

Mooncalf Almanac, by Matt Schumacher

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Matt Schumacher
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Poetry, chapbook, 28 pages, from Bottlecap Features.

This surrealistic almanac means to breeze in like unpredictable weather and surprise readers’ poetic lives of the mind with speakers who audaciously challenge the impending doom and cataclysms of climate change: here is the boasting poem of a surfer who boldly rides lava floes; here are the forewarnings of fortunetellers whose crystal balls and tarot deck are truly the paintings of Dali, Ernst, and De Chirico; here are green weathermen who remain wise bellwethers despite dizzying severe weather, staying brave even when plagued by the ghosts of past hurricanes; and here is a stormchaser, transformed by moving rainbows.

Here, too, is the mooncalf, mooing and galloping in with mythic heartbeat and hoofbeat, part cryptid familiar, perhaps part tree or water sprite, whose ghostly lunar undulations glide like the silver of the nightly tides. The mooncalf’s many thinginess includes the indomitable spirit and inestimable mystery of the wild. Aspiring to be the only almanac for animals, an ally for animals of all kinds, with lines that prize wolf spiders, and recover from wildfires, Mooncalf Almanac is content to nest with tree vole. It is a primer to inspire the child in us to admire the ephemeral brilliance and suddenness of weather in all seasons. Mooncalf Almanac aims to rain down and snow us in with poems that urge us to be protectors of the earth, hoping that show us a little of how to defy imaginative drought, to help us harvest that most elusive crop: our dreams.

"Sometimes creatures and the land are the truth tellers, and Matt Schumacher knows this. Word by word he unfurls glimpses of awe, wonder, grief, memory, and somehow beauty remains amidst the distortions. Schumacher's craft is in showing the reader how and why he trusts animals, trees, the sky, and all their echoes. The obtuseness and foolery of men is shadowboxed within the wisdom of the wildness underneath our feet, and above our heads. Reading the poems in this book is to experience a fragment of his ability to observe and inhabit the quiet in between spaces of this mystical, broken, sparkling world."

—Kirsten Rian, writer, artist

"In his gorgeous, oracular work, Matt Schumacher speaks to that 'older/than the both of us.' Even while addressing climate collapse and species extinction, this is poetry of rich musicality, good humor, and hope. Mooncalf Almanac dazzles, 'a wild essence.'"

—Aaron Anstett, author of What Now, from Sagging Meniscus Press

"Who could ask for more; Jupiter moon haikus; the adventures of mooncalf; news of spiders, evacuations orders and xylomancy. Unlike the farmers' almanac, everything in here is true!"

—dan raphael, author of In the Wordshed, from Last Word Press

Matt Schumacher, author of the poetry collections A Missing Suspiria de Profundis, favorite maritime drinking songs of the miraculous alcoholics, Spilling the Moon, Fire Diary, the Fire Diaries, and Ghost Town Odes, serves as editor of the New Fabulist journal Phantom Drift and lives in Portland, Oregon.