“Max McBride is a visionary poet. His series of poems, Tenebrae: A Memoir of Love and Death ... grapples with the death of his wife. In these poems he takes the reader on the journey that his wife endured, and he with her, in her wrenching passage from life to death.
… What he has created is astonishing. There is a humanity at the core of these pieces that shakes the reader to the bone. They are moving. They are elegiac. They are celebratory … they are the human heart in a singular and authentic voice. McBride's poetry is … playful, intelligent, of the personal and the universal simultaneously … they are completely of us, for us, the world at large.”
“… magical, haunting, and utterly sublime …”
“… heartbreaking and exquisite …”
—From the Foreword by Matthew Lippman
Author of The New Year of Yellow, Monkey Bars, Salami Jew, and American Chew
Excerpt from "A Trip to the Underworld"
...And I knew instantly that you, my Eurydice, were gone, had gone to another order of place and things, one forever far away from me and the few inches of bedsheet that physically separated us.
In our manic anthill lives
We still, often without knowing what we do,
Blindly, like busy bees in bustling hives,
Re-enact the ancient myths, which even now remain so true,
But sometimes strangely skewed.
Orpheus did take up his lyre,
More desperate than brave, his love soaringly renewed,
Journeyed to Hell to bring her home through awful fire.
But it wasn't at all as handed down.
Actually he did not look back, did not
So ignominiously earn posterity's disapproving frown,
So foolishly squander his only chance to change her plot.
They didn't tell us this part so we didn't know,
In actual fact Eurydice
Refused to go.
Publisher: Arjuna Books