John Carroll

Madding Aphroditepreviousnext Ekstasis Editions

The laws of Aphrodite are inviolable, but they are also indecipherable; that’s what the many characters of this collection discover and endure—from the mythical Greek Actaeon to the sad sack Lucky whose home is above the bus depot; from the old man who carries rags up the hill to the seal who returns from an adventure beyond the big rock. And interspersed amongst these small town tales are the dialogues carried on between the abstractions that haunt all our lives and metaphors for the experience of being in Aphrodite’s thrall.

Unusual, supernatural, speculative, philosophic, filthy, Madding Aphrodite is poet John Carroll’s first novel of ideas. In this beautifully written long poem, our protagonist—an old man seeking Truth and irrevocably in love with an alien-goddess he cannot have—wanders lovelorn through an almost lunar small-town landscape informed by that most fundamental of spiritual enclaves: the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. Madding Aphrodite is an undeniably curious investigation of the often disappointing, baffling corporeal world and the untenable world(s) of the divine.
~ Elizabeth Bachinsky

How do we attend to the little acts of warfare that first begin within ourselves In these unpunctuated dialogues breath is our guide breath orchestrates the contra-dictions of the characters at play within the same being (they even dare walk arm in arm along its shores) Breath pulls us through these parables with the cadences of trains we board with conviction on our way to bigger versions of ourselves unfragmenting into wholes where the world is more beautiful when we stop fretting over what cannot be fixed but should be thoroughly attended to “where we are so real that we came to believe/ we were both sane/ & our professions of love/ were not the mad protests/ of lonely minds”
~ Daniela Elza, author of milk tooth bane bone and the weight of dew

John Carroll is a writer and educator. He was born in Buffalo, New York. He immigrated to Canada in 1972. He has received degrees from Wesleyan University, Western Washington University, and The University of British Columbia. He has worked as a house painter, stevedore, busboy, speech writer, stage actor and director, movie extra, composer, free lance writer, and English professor. He is an Associate Professor of English at the University of the Fraser Valley. This is his third poetry collection.

ISBN 978-1-77171-030-5
349 pages
6 x 9
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