The Simple Art of Murder
"The Simple Art of Murder," a poetry collection by Kurt Cole Eidsvig, presents a vivid tapestry of personal experiences and artistic exploration, masterfully blending elements of memory, art history, and introspection. The collection stands out for its rich interplay between the personal and the artistic, where the mundane and the iconic collide to create a unique narrative experience.
Eidsvig's work delves deep into the realms of memory and loss, employing a diverse range of cultural references, from Andy Warhol’s iconic soup cans to Ernest Hemingway's presence in a Key West gym. These elements are not mere name-dropping but serve as intricate parts of a larger narrative that explores themes of family, personal struggle, and artistic influence. The imagery of Warhol's soup cans transforming into a mother’s healing soup and Picasso being reduced to a print on a cocktail napkin exemplifies Eidsvig's skill in juxtaposing the grandeur of art with the intimacy of personal experience.
The collection is also a journey through various landscapes, from Boston to Las Vegas to Key West, each location offering a backdrop for Eidsvig's introspective and sometimes humorous exploration of life. His language is raw and honest yet retains a sense of playfulness and formal inventiveness. The poems are a mix of long, dramatic pieces and tender, lyrical asides, creating a multifaceted reading experience.
Eidsvig’s work is a call to the reader to immerse themselves in his world, to "let the language grow all over you." It is an invitation to witness the confluence of literary and art history with the personal, where family and friends become guides through the complexities of the past. "The Simple Art of Murder" is not just a collection of poems; it's an experiential journey through the curving air of life's vast tapestry, revealing the author's profound observation and understanding of the world around him.
for The Simple Art of Murder
"Consider yourself lucky you didn’t come up the way Kurt did, this younger
Southie Brother of mine, this almost too honest voice, this man who has become
so eloquent, so artistic, who has so risen above what tried so hard to kill him."
-David Connolly, author of Lost In America
"Kurt Cole Eidsvig’s The Simple Art of Murder is a deeply felt phantasmagoria,
a kaleidoscope of experience and play, where ekphrasis becomes a way to
confront memory, separation, and loss. Andy Warhol’s soup cans become the
mother’s 'chicken and rice soup that can cure cancer.' Ernest Hemingway
appears at the Mile Zero CrossFit Gym in Key West as a 'cartoon presssquats
a bent bar on the painted logo,' and Picasso is a print on a cocktail
napkin. But the collection also longs to soar above it all: 'My favorite conceit
right now,” he writes, is “we all come back as birds.' From Boston to Las Vegas
to Key West, The Simple Art of Murder is a raw, funny, and formally inventive
book written by a down-to-earth eagle-eye observing everything in the 'curving
-Sandra Simonds, author of Triptychs
"Eidsvig’s latest book takes us on an extravaganza, where literary history collides
with art history and a personal mythmaking thus begins. Invitations abound
and we are told 'to pick your targets carefully.' We can’t help but be seduced
by Hemingway, Picasso, Warhol, and other artists who test the limits of our
own looking. These poems trace lineages of all kinds in dramatic long poems
and tender lyric asides, where the speaker’s family and friends help him sift
through the dirt of the past—a homecoming 'where every direction says look
behind.' The compass at the heart of this book instructs us to 'let the language
grow all over you' and so I let it, marveling at its fierce scope, its incessant drive,
its astonishment at living."
-Catherine Theis, author of MEDEA