Rogue Waves examines those moments that are like their namesake, events that occur unexpectedly, that cannot possibly be real, that have disproportionate impact, and just as quickly are over. This book is all about “ . . . the keystone that dislodges, the chain that breaks . . . .” The implicit question is always, “What happens when our pathway changes all of a sudden?” We find new ways to help us cope, accepting the paradox of a new reality, sometimes only checking to see what parts still work and then moving forward. Rogue Waves is about the abrupt shifts in our paradigms and perspectives and balance.
“Alan Birkelbach's thoughts and images, set in Wallace Stevens-like word play, spill so fast the reader must clutch or miss the depths and read again, or maybe yet again. But we're included. Whether it's Persephone in bunny slippers pulling Pluto out of bed, or little-boy Alexander the Great posing heroically before a Sears camera, he invites figures from myth, history, the streets he walks daily, to sit down with him and us at breakfast. Lurking beneath the scattered surfaces of seemingly random observations are moments when we find our canoe on the bottom, our self on the wrong street, rocks falling on us from Krakatoa's explosion, or stones from a pyramid we were stacking the wrong way.”-Frances Neidhardt