X in the Tickseed: Poems
February 12, 2024
Louisiana State University Press
From discursive essay-poems to tightly constructed lyrics, Ed Falco’s X in the Tickseed examines a world that reveals itself through its mysteries, reflecting upon the ephemeral nature of all things. In the series of poems that bookend the collection, a speaker identified only as X reviews personal history and relationships, speculating, pondering, and questioning in the face of a baffling universe. Peppered between the X poems, artists as varied as Artemisia Gentileschi, Frank O’Connor, and Nick Cave surface, usually in poems posing as essays about their art. Other poems range from explorations of cultural perspective, as in “A Few Words to a Young American Killed in the Tet Offensive,” where a war resister addresses a young man of his generation who died in Vietnam, to the often playful “An Alphabet of Things.” Throughout, Falco’s poems speculate on matters of life and faith, intensified by an awareness of death.