Today in the Taxi

by Sean Singer

$18.95

Sean Singer’s radiant and challenging body of work involves, much like Whitman’s, nothing less than the ongoing interrogation of what a poem is. In this way his books are startlingly alive… I love in this work the sense that I am the grateful recipient of Singer’s jazzy curation as I move from page to page. Today in the Taxi is threaded through with quotes from Kafka, facts about jazz musicians, musings from various thinkers, from a Cathar fragment to Martin Buber to Arthur Eddington to an anonymous comedian. The taxi is at once a real taxi and the microcosm of a world—at times the speaker seems almost like Charon ferrying his passengers, as the nameless from all walks and stages of life step in and out his taxi. I am reminded of Calvino’s Invisible Cities, of Sebald’s The Rings of SaturnToday in the Taxi is intricate, plain, suggestive, deeply respectful of the reader, and utterly absorbing. Like Honey and Smoke before it, which was one of the best poetry books of the last decade, this is work of the highest order.

—Laurie Sheck

 

Format: Paperback
Published: Spring 2022

Available on backorder

ISBN: 978-1-946482-69-3 Categories: ,

This book burns like trash on rooftops. It runs the river of me like a ribbon through its streets. It makes great sense. It makes no sense. Like a contemporary Charon, Sean Singer ferries the sad souls of our world, paying homage to their respective struggles. In this manner, these poems serve as portraits. Yet within each one always finds a delicious door opening up into the poet’s secret soul. As such, Today in the Taxi makes for a terrific intellectual and spiritual companion. A must-read for poetry lovers, this book is also a game changer for prose poetry.

—Cate Marvin

Sean Singer’s radiant and challenging body of work involves, much like Whitman’s, nothing less than the ongoing interrogation of what a poem is. In this way his books are startlingly alive… I love in this work the sense that I am the grateful recipient of Singer’s jazzy curation as I move from page to page. Today in the Taxi is threaded through with quotes from Kafka, facts about jazz musicians, musings from various thinkers, from a Cathar fragment to Martin Buber to Arthur Eddington to an anonymous comedian. The taxi is at once a real taxi and the microcosm of a world—at times the speaker seems almost like Charon ferrying his passengers, as the nameless from all walks and stages of life step in and out his taxi. I am reminded of Calvino’s Invisible Cities, of Sebald’s The Rings of SaturnToday in the Taxi is intricate, plain, suggestive, deeply respectful of the reader, and utterly absorbing. Like Honey and Smoke before it, which was one of the best poetry books of the last decade, this is work of the highest order.

—Laurie Sheck

From the passenger seat of Sean Singer’s taxicab, we witness New York’s streets livid and languid with story and contemplation that give us awareness and aliveness with each trip across the asphalt and pavement. Laced within each fare is an illumination of humanity’s intimate music, of the poet’s inner journey—a signaling at each crossroad of our frailty and effervescence. This is a guidebook toward a soundscape of higher meaning, with the gridded Manhattan streets as a scoring field. Jump in the back and dig the silence between the notes that count the most in each unique moment this poet brings to the page.

—Tyehimba Jess

In Today in the Taxi, Sean Singer has accomplished, with remarkable succinctness, an amazing number of things: he has reinvented the picaresque for the 21st century; he has created a poetic form, the major component of which is the automobile; and he has conceived a narrator who is both Spenserian and Kafkaesque—all in stark, spare language as convincingly conversational as it is literary in the best sense of the word. The cabbie with whom the reader rides is a contemporary Red Crosse Knight, an Unfortunate Traveler of the magical and terrifying landscape of Manhattan, a brilliantly sentient observer, a Good Samaritan, and just a human being who moves the lives of others and moves through them, ordinary as any man, or woman—an angel, brushing terrifying and numinous moments with a burning wing. “The vehicle is not just a way to get to the crime,” Singer writes, “but somehow to bless whatever the journey needs.”

—T.R. Hummer

Sean Singer was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, in 1974. A former New York City taxi driver, he has an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Rutgers University-Newark, and has been awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Singer is the author of two prior collections of poetry: Honey & Smoke and Discography, which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize and the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. He offers editorial services at seansingerpoetry.com.

Additional information

Weight 0.25 lbs
Dimensions 5.06 × 7.81 in