In Love Song with Motor Vehicles, Alan Michael Parker marshals a penetrating wit and sharp irony that mirrors that of Charles Simic and John Berryman. Parker’s robust imagination explores the music in places poetry doesn’t usually travel — “Driving Past My Exit,” “The Screened Porch,” “Salmon Seen from Above,” “On the Red-Eye.” His poems find their epiphanies early on, and, most strikingly, do not close at their endings but, rather, open. The book includes a series titled “The Penates.” These poems take as their subjects the household gods Aeneas brought with him from Troy to the founding of Rome. But the poems have a twist: the various gods — of steel wool, draperies, brooms — have been updated, dragged into our culture and time. The result is a post-modern riff upon present-day spirituality in relation to mythology.
Parker’s poem, “The Cat,” published in Love Song with Motor Vehicles, won the 2003 Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America.
Parker’s poem, “Love Song with Motor Vehicles,” received an Editor’s Choice Award from The Marlboro Review.
Love Song with Motor Vehicles was named a “Notable Book of the Year” by the National Book Critics Circle for 2003.
Parker’s poems,”The Island” and “The Work,” published in Love Song with Motor Vehicles, were featured on Poetry Daily.
“Love Song with Motor Vehicles is full of, among other things, gods. But what surprising gods they are, with their strange questions, sad visions, and circumscribed domains that never stay circumscribed. Like all of Parker’s brilliant books, this one is serious fun, made of grace and intelligent good spirit.” —Andrew Hudgins