In Zack Rogow’s new poetry collection Irreverent Litanies, the poet grapples with religion and spirituality from the viewpoint of someone who grew up in a militantly atheist home. He surprises himself by sometimes finding the wisdom and beauty in a meditative perspective. With laugh-out-loud humor and deep heart, these poems offer new perspectives on contemporary life, from cloning Mozart to traffic bottlenecks in Silicon Valley to the cycles of birth and death.
“Like faucets that ‘sense your hands praying for the water to flow,’ Zack Rogow gives us poems we need, poems that ‘brighten like blown embers’ as you read them, poems that stick with you like ‘chameleon squids suctioned onto the sides of your car’ long after you’ve put them down, proving that the only place it’s permissible to mix metaphors with impunity is in a blurb for a book this wonderful.”
– Richard Chiappone, author of Water of an Undetermined Depth and Opening Days
“‘Everything we hold dear is borrowed,’ writes Zack Rogow, and those sage words are really a summation of these Irreverent Litanies. Whether in technically adept sonnets, ironic free verse, elegies, or straight-out litanies, the poet isn’t afraid to ask big questions. He ponders the death of loved ones, bends to ‘place a plastic container/with blueberries and toast’ next to a sleeping homeless man, and invokes the ghosts of Jews slain in the Holocaust. But Rogow isn’t a stranger to satire either, as when he reflects on ‘The Life Expectancy of Shirts’ or supposes ‘even Shakespeare must have thought/There’s too much gore at Hamlet’s denouement.’ Despite failed relationships, the inexorable passage of time, and the knowledge of our shared mortality, Zack Rogow refuses to lose his sense of humor or wonder. Irreverent Litanies is a searching, timely collection that, once picked up, is difficult to put down!.”
– Frank Paino, author of The Rapture of Matter and Out of Eden