AprašymasIn his sixth book, Donald Platt starts a poem by exclaiming, “The days are one thousand / puzzle pieces.” He gathers up the days into this book of terrors and ecstasies decanted in seamlessly reversing tercets of long and short lines, syllabic couplets, and lyric prose. The puzzle pieces include a dying father-in-law, AIDS, maimed World War I veterans, Caravaggio’s painting of the beheading of St. John the Baptist (his largest canvas), and the story of a gay boxer who KOs and kills the opponent who has called him a faggot at the weigh-in. It is a book that encompasses contradictions. The poet writes about his bisexuality, his close and intimate marriage, Rudolf Nureyev, a daughter with manic depression, a painting by James Ensor entitled Christ’s Entry into Brussels in 1889, and la Playa los Muertos, the Beach of the Dead in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The poet puts these fragments of a life together into a thousand-piece jigsaw, a self-portrait of the artist in middle age, and calls it unabashedly Man Praying.