An astonishing debut, Nathan McClain’s Scale is a fierce and unflinching look at the bonds between father and son. From Superman’s Fortress of Solitude to Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, at koi ponds and outside Eden, these poems search for answers to the question “how do we reckon with the past?” Witty, tender, and full of fire, here is a collection from a powerful, assured new voice.
From “Fire Destroys Beloved Chicago Bakery,” from Scale:
How is it that you misread “fire” as “father”—your father— come back from the dead, to sweep, like hard wind, through the building, to smash, with a Louisville Slugger, every pastry with which you'd pack your sweet little mouth, then flick a lit match into the trash bin? The entire building will have to be demolished because the father took hours finally to be put out; it was a stubborn father. Your father who once, outside a grocery store, warned you against asking for anything inside, so you have learned to keep your appetites a secret....