by Kyle Dargan
Northwestern University Press, 2023
Paper: 978-0-8101-4568-9 | eISBN: 978-0-8101-4569-6
Library of Congress Classification PS3604.A74P36 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.6

A poet’s final barbed compilation that pierces the inherited and self-inflicted experiences of masculinity
The keen and jagged blade that is Kyle Dargan’s eye is drawn in Panzer Herz: A Live Dissection, the final poetic compilation of a lived and inherited masculinity.
Dargan targets the armored heart, or “panzer herz”—a site where desire, violence, family, politics, blackness, and capitalism all intertwine with gender. Pierced with the question—What if the heart, in the aforementioned capacity, was not a constricting vessel, struggling to withstand internal and external pressures, but instead was a space of release?—the collection opens a cishet masculinity to the inquiries and explorations that the traditional conscription of gender discourages and often vilifies.
I long to abandon this violent / vagrancy, but the roads . . .  teem with other men who know / no training, who see upon me / my teachers’ marks and ache / for the elicitation of drawn steel.
The denser blades of compassion and accountability are Dargan’s arms of choice to carry, and not conceal, the weapons he uses to probe his own heart and the hearts of the men and women who shaped him into a man that has been . . . and is unbecoming. The poetic paring of layered lines, the nicking of the process, these poems crimson the page—and not for scarlet spectacle. These versed incisions and sutures are the oeuvre dedicated to the outgrowing of the writer and the “man” that began it.

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