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Splash State by Todd Colby

Splash State by Todd Colby

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An extended love letter, Todd Colby’s sixth collection SPLASH STATE is filled with humor and charm. These poems are as concerned with aging, time, being, and death as they are with eliminating “the need for anxious circumstances” with facts, instructions, and advice. From extolling the uses of “Shark’s Paw” and “Fink Leaf” to “how to look like everything is okay in photographs,” Colby’s poems opt for the personal and generous, even when his tongue is firmly planted in cheek. If melancholy is just around the corner, these poems will walk with you in the opposite direction.

“The wonder and disappointment of every day in the city of love is Todd Colby’s subject. It amounts to a ‘splash state’, wherein everything gets shaken up, yet somehow miraculously finds its place. 'The affection/ you show when things turn sour,/ and all the other complexities of now’ keep lovers alive to one another, 'both sustainable and ecstatic.’ 'We get older without noticing, another year has come and gone’. So, without our doing anything, time ennobles us and lightens the nature of love. Colby is a brilliant transcriber of these moments of time becoming themselves." John Ashbery

"I read Todd Colby’s Splash State and I’m here to say that it makes the world better. I mean this because this is a monumental book and in this book, in this stack of love poems, we see the Romantic has a place again in the everyday, like a "courtyard” that “sparkles puppy yellow” with sunlight. the “Simple Times” when “bones softened the cars,” and an I that “blooms out over Brooklyn” are all part of what we do this whole thing for: life. If you like Frank O'Hara, Eileen Myles, John Ashbery, William Blake, and Wallace Stevens, then you are going to like this book. Or I mean to say, that this book is a spell, a  love spell. And if you want a book to carry with you when no one seems to care, when no one seems to be your friend, well then, you’ve found it, it’s this book, this book is your love spell, this book is your friend." Dorothea Lasky

Todd Colby is the author of five collections of poetry, including Tremble and Shine and Riot in the Charm Factory; New and Selected Poems, published by Soft Skull Press. His chapbook Flushing Meadows was published by Scary Topiary Press in 2013. He posts new work on


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Poetry Foundation

Rob Mclennan

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