the discovery

Poems that join and bind through books and years


Nathaniel Mackey’s poems entwine across pages and volumes and years, nearly half a century now. Somerville’s Black Ocean has recently published “Lay Ghost,’’ a potent — and beautiful to hold — set of eight pieces lifted from Mackey’s ongoing series of poems, “Song of the Andoumboulou.’’ In his unmistakable cadence, Mackey writes of a gang of cosmic wanderers moving through memory, thought, and actual world. “Earthy someone said, abstract,/would it were able, mind ridding itself of/ itself.” His lines are sensual, mystical, and everyday, like song, like a choir singing in a language you don’t speak but understand, like “something happening we had no name for other than time,” fulfilling “an/expectation none of us knew/we had.”


Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of