The Accidentalist

The acrobatic poems of The Accidentalist, W. Vandoren Wheeler's debut collection, risk much to hold the reader spellbound. Alive to the danger that pervades everything, from the "broken / white line between / hundreds of possible head-ons" to the Mexican Painted Gila Monster, "whose jaws, when they finally unlock, / call up to you as they fall, Forgive me! / Forgive me for what I have made you / a violent, suffering, quivering mass," the poet also invites disaster as a means of achieving epiphany.

In The Accidentalist, you'll find a lover as a slide projector, a brain "split / like a horse's hoof," "a music box pricked by sunset's light," and a writer who tracks oddity and beauty, finding one inside the other. Wheeler's precise and complexly grateful voice manages to make reality refreshingly wobbly.

As a specialist in the often seemingly causeless events of our lives - not to mention also the surprise, wonder, and anxiety that comes with them - Van Wheeler proves himself in The Accidentalist a poet of revelation in the grand sense: attuned to the marvelous possibilities of existence whenever, wherever, and however they arise. With sensitivity and grace, these poems risk being wrong about everything as a way to get everything right.