Four Way Books
The Nervous Filaments
by David Dodd Lee

ISBN: 978-1-884800-05-4
paper, 96 pages, $15.95



“Lee's fourth book is hard to interpret, but hard to ignore: “a priest shouldn't have a tattoo of Darth Vader,” the title poem remarks, before depicting “little silver penguins holding trays.” Exclamatory, vivid, bizarre, and sometimes redolent of the surrealists, Lee's single-line stanzas and sentence fragments suggest a life impossible to sustain, a set of emotions and recollections unmoored from any life story that might serve as guide: “They shredded the moon again she said about the falling snow.” Lee remains conscious of region and locale (“just think of the Midwest/ as a giant Nativity Scene”): yet his ambitions, and his targets, seem to take in almost everything he can see. A style that some readers find disorienting will seem to others all too familiar; it's not clear whether his disorienting style is really anything new. And yet Lee's sharp way with single images, single sentences, almost convulsively fleeting visions, should not be denied. (Mar.)“”

—Publishers Weekly

“David Dodd Lee's new solo exhibition is as electric and unsettling as anything the art world has seen in years. Urgent, indifferent, his lines scatter in all directions as you read them [...] You may need to leave the tv on for company while you read. You will find yourself coming back again and again.”

—Jordan Davis

“Once in a while, a book of poems is so unmemorable that I forget it’s in my hands; once in a longer while, a book will stick in me like a spear. A grievous and gorgeous tour of things-have-gone-to-pieces-since-you-left-me America, David Dodd Lee’s The Nervous Filaments is most certainly of the latter class. There is no sleep so deep I would not hear it there.”

—Graham Foust

“Imagistic, passionate, and uncompromising, David Dodd Lee’s poems are simultaneously in the here-and now while being otherworldly. He transforms the harsh realities we experience as brutal and permanent into transient informative moments of release. [...] This poet reminds us over and over: you are not alone; and it is assured as his readers invite him in that their sensibilities will deepen and expand.”

—Christine Garren