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One Night We Will No Longer Bear the Ocean

ISBN: 9781942004714
Binding: Paperback
Author: Anton Yakovlev
Pages: 98
Trim: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
Published: 06/11/2024

One Night We Will No Longer Bear the Ocean tells the story of a life-changing encounter between two people. It begins in a fragile place. Entering the relationship, both are haunted by past trauma and anxieties. Their multifaceted connection and mutual fascination allow the darkness to be set aside, but only for a while. The relationship becomes tense. A sense of betrayal develops. The speaker loses the ability to see the significant other as a partner. Coexisting is no longer possible. This rupture comes at a high price. Profound regret sets in, and depression follows. The speaker and the former partner are stuck, never come to terms, contemplate mortality, almost dissociating from reality for a while. Recovery is slow. The speaker's memory of the beloved lingers as a ghostly presence. The mourning process does come to a semblance of closure, and at last it becomes possible to look to the future once more. And this future does involve the two of them reconnecting in a new capacity. While they are no longer together, their stories once again intertwine to a degree, and the ability to integrate their shared history into their conscious awareness is what enables them to remain human.


Anton Yakovlev is the author of four poetry chapbooks: Chronos Dines Alone (SurVision Books, 2018), winner of the James Tate Poetry Prize, Ordinary Impalers (Kelsay Books, 2017), The Ghost of Grant Wood (Finishing Line Press, 2015), and Neptune Court (The Operating System, 2015). His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Hopkins Review, Plume, Reed Magazine, upstreet, Poetry Daily, and elsewhere. The bilingual volume The Last Poet of the Village: Selected Poems by Sergei Yesenin Translated by Anton Yakovlev came out from Sensitive Skin Books in 2019. Anton co-hosts the Carmine Street Metrics reading series in Manhattan and the Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow reading series in Rutherford, New Jersey. He is a former education director at Bowery Poetry Club.


"Reading this book had a radical effect on me: it is poetry that tears off the bandage over a wounded heart, a return to the source of lyric poetry. At the same time, it sets off the almost forgotten flame of what was once unapologetically poetry. In so doing, history, geography and architecture exist as the ragged costumes in an ongoing human tragedy. Anton Yakovlev is an immensely talented poet who has the courage to go lucidly against the grain to what hurts. He drafts history and terror to his pain: 'all human history smells like boots' and 'If guillotines could sing, would they sing in your voice?' This 'you' owns the cosmic cold: 'no matter how much you sang / your teeth were Stonehenge / or typewriter keys.' What incredible gift to the 'you' that has set this poetry in motion!" - Andrei Codrescu

"One of the most original voices in contemporary poetry, Anton Yakovlev has given us a dissonant hymn to unrequited love that is as surprising as it is unsentimental. In One Night We Will No Longer Bear the Ocean, he tracks the landscape of a years-long relationship, its roots in trauma, its symphonies and missed connections—'we argue and we clutch'—played out against a backdrop featuring, in turn, Edward Snowden, Laika the ill-fated Sputnik dog, 'dangerous books getting burned in the most beautiful square.' Devastatingly precise, funny, and intensely human, these poems will leave you changed." - Theresa Burns

"How to write a poem if you're Anton Yakovlev: 1. Dive off Dali's waxed mustache into The Land of Melted Watches. 2. Immediately transform into Alice's White Rabbit. 3. Race past Brodsky snooping for Véronique's red velvet armchair in every Trotskyist cafeteria in the city. 4. Read the future in counterfeit Tarot cards. 5. Your hand reaches into the bonfire seconds before it fades. Now the poem is done. BUT IS IT?! Not if you're our man Yakovlev, whose imagery machine guns every so-called word. Yet, hidden in this avalanche is a bravura confluence of shimmering imagery from which humanity emerges, an endangered species, searching for love." - Bob Holman