Tempo Rubato by Boyer Rickel

Boyer's front cover.jpg
Boyer's front cover.jpg

Tempo Rubato by Boyer Rickel


62 pages
© 2018
ISBN: 978-0-9992263-1-5
Book Design: Christopher Nelson
Cover Art: Gary Kautto
Printed on recycled paper

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Praise for Tempo Rubato

Memory, time’s passage and speed, body, physicality, and grief are the themes of this collection of poems, Tempo Rubato, Italian for “stolen time.” The poems are a landscape, laid out with the minutiae of a life, of several lives; they wend, wind, circle through layers and layers of memory: mother, lover, father, self, all in bodies with frailties. Rickel skillfully alternates between small detail, moments of humor and profound honesty, and cutting lines that devastate out of nowhere; though after their arrival one realizes he has been building to them all along. And then he goes on. This cutting is not the end of the story, nor is it even, necessarily, the point. More the fabric of a life lived, and continuing to be lived, in our shared state of worry, uncertainty, joy, pleasure, and mourning. These are necessary poems, quietly and yet achingly aware: of loss, of joy, of the smallest details.

—Arianne Zwartjes, author of Detailing Trauma: A Poetic Anatomy

Tempo Rubato is profound lamentation pressed throughout with eros and vitality. Here the body suffers, touches another body, holds the desiring self, the self acutely aware of its own necessary embodiment: clothed and unclothed, robust, aging, reaching, dying, returned to stillness. “It’s me! the smile proclaims.” Shot through with the “animism of particulars,” with eidola, or bodies returned enlivened, as in memory, as in dreams of the beloved deceased, each sentence vibrates with its own internal melody, both a stunning and unforgettable composition in grief and a riveting song in praise of life, each line a sequence of “multicolored blown-glass beads of sound along a thread.” Boyer Rickel has written a powerful and personal masterpiece.

—Jason Zuzga, author of Heat Wake

Boyer Rickel

Boyer Rickel’s other publications include two poetry collections, remanence (Parlor Press) and arreboles (Wesleyan), a memoir-in- essays, Taboo (Wisconsin), as well as two poetry chapbooks from Seven Kitchens Press, Musick’s Hand-maid and reliquary. Recipient of poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Arizona Commission on the Arts, he taught in the University of Arizona Creative Writing Program for twenty years.