Idiopaths, by Bill Rasmovicz

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by Bill Rasmovicz

Pub Date: March 15, 2014
76 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-936767-21-2

Cover design by Kelley Erickson

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The poems in this book provide a vision of a world fallen nearly apart, but not completely, and there’s the metaphysical rub. By all accounts—the doomed family, the material detritus, the ruination of nature—we deserve the full-blown apocalypse. Its absence is eerie but ultimately instructive, in a punishing way. This is a book that takes the reader not down an inescapable hole but through a physical and spiritual darkness, if not to the light then dimly to the lesser dark. This is a stark and electric book, full of honesty, intelligence, and a kind of grace.

Maurice Manning

Surreal, arch, deep and chaotic, these poems convert post-modern angst into pleasurable weaponry. The images arrive like gunfire and leave like “the slow pulse of an oak.” Anything is possible in the furnace of this poet’s brain. Perceptions burn until “sweetness and horror [are] fused / in a single music.” Metaphor-monger that he is, Rasmovicz demands to be described as only his idiopaths would have it: with “a paper cut for a voice,” his lines make unforgettable rumble. In no one else’s poetic can morning be described as “a worm grinding across red bricks.” Impossible, yet here he is: a poet who makes depression read like a blessing. 

Larissa Szporluk

Kalliopi Mathios at Electric Literature:

“[M]onumental shifts in how we live are reflected in Bill Rasmovicz’s Idiopaths. . . . He explores the interactions between man, technology, and nature through elegantly dark imagery. He writes of the look on our faces, the wear and tear of contemporary society altering even our physical characteristics. . . . From this small but substantial poetry collection, Rasmovicz allows us to see how he works through these challenges, and provides readers with beautifully crafted, thought-provoking poetry.”


Bill Rasmovicz is the author of The World in Place of Itself (Alice James Books, 2007), Gross Ardor (42 Miles Press, 2013) and Idiopaths (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2014). His poems have appeared in Hotel AmerikaHunger MountainNimrodMid-American ReviewThird CoastGulf Coast, BODY, Brooklyn Poets Anthology and other publications.Bill has served as a workshop co-leader and literary excursion leader throughout much of Europe. A graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing program and Temple University School of Pharmacy, his current home is Portland, Maine.

“Via Negativa”

Click above for a PDF download of “Via Negativa,” a long work by Bill Rasmovicz.