"After all, / you’re leaving, / you will soon forget, / you will unlearn,” says Mike Alexander, in Retrograde, a book of poems that puts our ideas of remembrance and loss to the test. There is a poetry of lyric nostalgia, immediately recognizable to most readers. This is not that poetry.

Alexander incorporates such subjects as the sugar-coated breakfast cereals of his youth, and video games, but his search parameters extend to Victorian death cult photography, Alzheimer’s dementia, and various myths of American progress. In a sequence entitled “Re:Enactment,” the poet follows the retreat route of George Washington’s army, through the landscape of contemporary North New Jersey. 

Retrograde, poems by Mike Alexander, is published by P&J Poetics

96 pp. • 6 x 9 • ISBN 978-0-9887-677-0-6 • Paper • $15.00

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