OxyContin for Breakfast
OxyContin for Breakfast provides a reader's journey from South Boston to Montana and every place in between. Created over two decades, the poems here travel between "drinking, addiction, hurricanes, homesickness, meth, paint, painkillers, bison, heroin, and signage" as the pages blend drama and comedy in both lyrical and narrative styles.
Eidsvig’s work has drawn comparisons to Kate Braverman’s Lithium for Medea, as well as "Ashbery’s freedom with language, O’Hara’s irreverence, Stevens’ incessant, musical curiosity." Repeatedly in this collection, Eidsvig drops the reader into vivid scenes of American life—a heroin overdose during gentrification, two strangers’ budding romance beneath a pinball machine—while also pulling from his experience in the art world and channeling the compositions of Rothko, de Kooning, and Pollock throughout his verse.
Martha Collins, author of Blue Front, has called OxyContin for Breakfast “an implicit conversation between experience and art, with a painterly sense of color, shape, and line informing its pages....It's a journey you'll want to take slowly, and then to take again.”
Available from Main Street Rag
~96 pages, $15 (+ shipping)
Projected Release Date: February/March, 2023
for OxyContin for Breakfast
“In this rich book of poems, Kurt Eidsvig covers a lot of territory. From Boston to Montana, and many states between, it's a book of Americana. From OxyContin and alcohol to Rothko and other artists, it's an implicit conversation between experience and art, with a painterly sense of color, shape, and line informing its pages. From conversational narrative to nonlinear association, from syntactic extension to clipped repetition, Eidsvig invites us to listen and travel with him. It's a journey you'll want to take slowly, and then to take again.”
“Kurt Eidsvig notices everything. Drawing on the history of painting, especially Abstract Expressionism, he explores abstraction’s visceral grip on life and the explosive boundaries between surface and depth that exceed language. In these poems people are blocked from their chosen existence but overwhelmed with connections: dots, lines, and planes intersect; colors slam into other colors; South Boston burns. When Eidsvig writes about roadtrips, drinking, addiction, hurricanes, homesickness, meth, paint, painkillers, bison, heroin, and signage, you feel the sheer energy of art and the energy of numbers—the energy of counting, taking account of the present moment, counting those who never recovered. It’s all washed into a sound that is utterly distinctive—a lyrical, conversational, exuberant sorrow, recalling Ashbery’s freedom with language, O’Hara’s irreverence, Stevens’ incessant, musical curiosity. Eidsvig is aware of how hard it is to exit one’s life and, increasingly, one’s planet. With immensely beautiful, searching lines, with wit but not a trace of cynicism, these poems give back to us a humanity we are losing every day.”
-Joanna Klink, Author of The Nightfields
"These fresh and honest poems--about doubt, disconnection, love, emptiness, place, and addiction, among their many themes--seem particularly germane to our moment. Arising from deeply felt personal experiences and keen observations about art and the visual world, they also express universal hopes and revelations that make the multiple meanings of human existence all the more profound."
-Paul Hayes Tucker, Art Historian & Author
"Kurt Eidsvig's OxyContin for Breakfast demonstrates once again that he is a master of writing's most challenging format: poetry. Luminous language and lyrical phrasing engage the reader throughout. Seductive narratives explore the nature of that dicey enterprise known as 'the human condition.' Comparisons to the late Kate Braverman's incomparable Lithium for Medea are wholly warranted."
-Richard Walter, retired professor and longtime head of UCLA's graduate program in screenwriting.