Maged Zaher's latest collection Thank You for the Window Office was recently published by Brooklyn-based Ugly Duckling Presse.

Maged is from Cairo and is currently living in Seattle. This book consolidates his distinctive poetry and furthers his three earlier titles. There is a fresh, nearly-aphoristic tone. The lines give the impression of effortless arrangement. Maged uses just the right amounts of scepticism, enquiry, humour, politics, relational aesthetic, desire and reflection. The cover image is complicated. The poems embody a cultural critique that's open and modest even when it's very smart. Here are a few sample poems (random selections, not in sequence)-

    Hello roller coaster
    Hello soup du jour precious feelings
    Here we do sales
    There they do shopping
    In the resurrection's parade
    I took a different name
    Which was an inevitable twist to the plot
    Yet someone in the organization had to ask:
    "Is people management an essential skill?"
    The bohemian is still alive


    The poet at the soccer game
    Reciting from Homer's Twitter feed
    Tires everywhere
    Piles of used Xboxes
    The bearded folks surrounding the entrance
    One of us will get to be the boss
    And feel the joys of the class system
    Monsters have a different value system
    One will die of fear
    And although the guru said nothing about jerking off
    I will manage to wear green
    And offend no one today


    They stare at blue lines
    And sell media to everyone
    Bikes are here to stay
    Some agitation is needed
    Because some poems are deeply Maoist
    Mistrust goes a long way
    I need to list all the patents we hold
    Give me value or give me death


You can find more praise, another sample,
and information about the book here
Read Los Angeles Times' Book Critic, David Ulin's review here


      A few places - last week in Melbourne - click here