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Topic: Samuel Andreyev

Like It Means Anything: Samuel Andreyev’s The Relativistic Empire

Early on in The Relativistic Empire, Samuel Andreyev’s second collection, he asks “when did things / begin to lose their cohesion?” a question that could serve as a motto for the book as a whole. Actually to talk of this book ‘as a whole’ is rather irrational, as the only facts that make it complete are its finite number of pages and its two covers; it lacks even a table of contents, giving the impression of a free-form group of poems placed together at random. The poems themselves are (mostly) short, and generally feature a kind of deliberate nonsensicality. A typical example reads, “a thin layer of ice / protects the tongs only / to grasp an elusive concept // flown into paradise with- / -out removal colliding /jeeps stuck in mud,” the sort of language sequencing designed to stymie meaning.