“Wet and cold my country, where the softener seeps in but the powder burns still in washing tone.” Through prose poems, found-verse collages, fractured short stories, and micro-fictions, Michael Tyrell’s Phantom Laundry reveals an America caught in a ferocious cycle–fixed on apocalyptic omens and numbed by reruns and reality TV, but still inexorably drawn to the possibility of redemption and recovered purity: “Clean now, never been so clean. God died a useful thing.” Running the gamut between fairy-tale characters and infamous killers, Hollywood icons and urban legends, Phantom Laundry also considers how the seemingly ordinary, apparently desolate life might be momentarily renewed thanks to the playful miracles of language: “What tenderness in smoothing over the delicacies, overalls and overnothing arguments.” With this, his second collection, Tyrell continues to make a name for himself as a strikingly original poet whose work blends comic word-play with haunting gravitas.
Michael Tyrell’s second collection of poetry. Tyrell appears poised to stake his claim as a serious and original voice that writes from the heart of America’s techno-anxiety. His debut is peppered with lines and poems that are both hair-raising and irreducible. – Publishers Weekly