Tracey McTague's SUPER NATURAL is now available from Trembling Pillow Press.
Also available as an ebook for Kindle.
Advance Praise for SUPER NATURAL:
“A hornbook for the fledgling seer. A trickster’s bible. Mystic, domestic, ritualistic, caustic. Tracey McTague’s book invokes the spaces between the worlds with poems that demand to be read aloud, incantations against—or for—those liminal places where spirits flap free. With sensual vulgarity and profane beauty, her poems draw close to the divine, stripping language down to its glowing bones. I know this place; it stalks me. And I believe in these poems”
“Edgar Allen Poe famously wrote, “There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.” Indeed, stare for too long at any gorgeous flower and one begins to be stunned by its essential grotesquerie, which then in some mysterious way doubles back to make the blossom more beautiful still. Similarly, Tracey McTague’s poems tinker with the proportion of beauty to strangeness, finding just the right balance, as a Thai chef might with sweetness, acidity, salt, and spiciness.
It just so happens that Tracey has one of the most beautiful gardens in Brooklyn…I’m not sure whether she has transferred the skill set of gardening into poetry or vice versa, or whether the dynamic is simply more complementary, but the poems are like enchanted terrariums, tiny organic assemblages in the “syntax of [an] unknown tongue.”
The lines are short and this economy helps us not to lose such exquisite, sound-attentive moments as “prank mask feasts,” “double bloom Twombly,’ “porch minks,” and “faux pas paw prints.” I almost want to call these “euphoria infested” poems gemlike, with their strange and unembarrassed (i.e. uncontested) beauty, but perhaps it is more accurate to compare them to amber. With her fine and surreal sense of juxtaposition and arrangement, Tracey is sure to work in insects and delicate mischief among the loveliness: there is a “nymph detainment center”, a “chocolate mingle turn-ons at herpes camp” and even a “Cartesian spider monkey [that] yells,
‘Titans – show us your tits’”!
To which one can only respond:
Tracey! Show us your poems!”
Tracey McTague is a “sorceress in sweet depravity/ & general decay.” She calls forth a world crowded with the debris of daily life, lit by “the wide-eyed radiance” of the poet’s mind: Antigone brand condoms and H.R. department emoticons.
These poems brim with wonder, but also warning. They gather global gods and folk rituals, as if the present, or, more precisely, the future, required the resurrection of every possible power — hope here residing not above us but in the ways such prayers access “the primordial wisdom in the world as it is.”
Tracey McTague is a streetwise detective of the most unusual details; some of her poems read like a pile of stuff discovered in an alley -- mysterious, then interesting, then meaningful, beautiful, and rewarding to the careful eye. Other poems seem channeled from the distant flare of a blinking star; on top of her Brooklyn hill, McTague is a strangely-alloyed antennae picking up eons-old cosmic messages. My favorite poems are the ones that demand to be reread. As soon as I finished this book, I started it anew.
Tracey McTague’s amazing collection of poetry Supernatural, fires up the language. Folklore, nature, and the quotidian meld into bars of gold and silver. These poems dedicated to family and friends, lift off the page and light up poetry’s sky. Grounded in folklore, McTague’s poems can’t be nailed to the wall, they are tricksters, shape shifters that defy our expectations and rules.
Delivered with the spontaneous mind of "first thought best thought," each word is also a well wrought amulet stowed in the shelves of the poem. It's their sense of strangeness, vast associative possibility and sonic kinkiness that makes me feel we can use them as chants to combat commonplace wrong-doers. As she writes, "bird-herald appears/making a joyful noise/& always pays your debts."