It Might Do Well with Strawberries

David Matlin holds a presence of mind uncontaminated by the nullity of this bewildering political era in which torture, deceit, trickery, brutality and war are the status quo that many of us uphold, obsessed as we are with the solace and comfort promised by the dream of America, which has become a nightmare too unbearable for most of us to face. Matlin is unwavering. Instead of collapsing into despondency he confronts the collision of violence and imagination so rampant in this culture gone awry. Instead of retreating into uncertainty, he writes the fury of the world as it presents itself to him -- a conflicting forcefield of horror and sublimity, chaos and clarity. It is rare to read the workings of a mind so braced against the ominous drift. But Matlin reveals the simultaneity of living and thinking through the complexity of what can be known and what has been realized. He scours the newspapers and maintains the relentless practice of always observing and recording. It’s often easier to look away. But with Matlin as a guide, perhaps we can begin to conceive an image of what Matlin, citing Robert Duncan, calls “Vital Living apart from the threatening conclusions which surround us.” -Kristin Prevallet

“What if the art forms have so solidified as to be irrelevant to defy our political present? This question is one that so haunts David Matlin as to make his writing adequate to the monstrosity of our waning democratic years and days. It Might Do Well With Strawberries contains all the components---poetic concision, political outrage, journalistic detail, self-fashioning, and a long historic vision---that make it possible to speak of language as public space: a critical wager of the imagination.” -Roberto Tejada

“David Matlin is that dangerous thing, a writer’s writer, which usually means only discerning readers come to his pages. But they are richly rewarded, as anyone will be who is lucky enough to discover Matlin’s work. It Might Do Well With Strawberries is full of magic, of prophetic insight and the rough knowledge of living with mind and heart wide open in our benighted new century. This volume is a journal that is not just a captivating diurnal record, but one transformed into a profound literary meditation that will endure.” -William O’Rourke, author of Notts and Criminal Tendencies