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Book cover for poetry collection Watch Me Trick Ghosts by Robert Krut
Watch Me Trick Ghosts

Robert Krut’s poetry collection Watch Me Trick Ghosts offers an immersion into the sublime, enveloping the reader in a shroud of welcome terror. Fusing narratives of ordinary life with flashes of otherworldly awe, Krut’s speaker serves as guide and protector while we venture down darkened streets, through empty buildings, and even into a forest grown out of grief. The lines of these poems haunt with remarkable clarity. “A Coffin Is a Battery” states that, “Fine hairs of stray electricity twitch in wind,” and “When you come looking, I am the wires.” Whether through surreal imagery, or storylines lifted from our strangest dreams, Watch Me Trick Ghosts has a chill to rival the most ravishing Gothic novel, and the simmer of film noir.  —Mary Biddinger



Reading the wildly liminal, imagistically shimmery, and marvelously tricked-out poems in Robert Krut’s Watch Me Trick Ghosts, I kept thinking (and maybe it’s just me—but no, it can’t just be me) about Los Angeles with all its lights out, ghosts with weird haircuts, and the fact that the trick here is real magic, “sonic dust blowing” through a new kind of American deep image, where “You are a heart,/which is different from saying/you are my heart or you have my/heart.  It is saying that/you are a heart.”  Did you see what just happened there? I’m not sure I did either.  Maybe all of us are ghosts already, but certainly we will be some day, so consider this book necessary preparation in how not to be hoodwinked in the afterlife.  Pick a card, any card.  Burst into flames.  These poems are the lights you’ve been waiting to walk into... —Matt Hart

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The Now Dark Sky, Setting Us All on Fire

Winner of the Codhill Poetry Award

From the very first poem in this quiet and intimate collection, Robert Krut inventively crafts image after shape-shifting image, each suggesting an alternate universe designed to help us better understand our real one. From a preacher in a lentil rainstorm to a doorman wearing a hat full of beetles, we meet people (and see places) filled not only with what is real but with what is possible. Between these magical details runs a clear and steady narrative: a speaker who dons the “too-small sweater of summer.” Who knows that “danger isn’t a bomb, danger is a drip.” And who survives “this pension of suffering.” The graceful poems in The Now Dark Sky, Setting Us All On Fire beautifully balance being both agent and acted upon. Krut is a poet of vivid imagery and distinctive voice. —Patricia Colleen Murphy


A poem inside a poem is a guest, and Robert Krut’s new compilation The Now Dark Sky, Setting Us All On Fire is worth putting the kettle on to serve.  I am in awe at his ability with composing words, where the music from deep imagination comes easily to him.  I’ve dined with these poems, went for long walks with “Now, Breathe Fire" and "Dear Demon" inside my coat pocket. I  wrote his poem "Welcome" on a lotus leaf and posted it on my front door because it reminded me that it is good to welcome the essentiality of darkness from time to time. Let these poems be lanterns to the door you are about to open. This collection is a treasure and good reason why we must keep on breathing.   —Sam Roxas-Chua 

Robert Krut’s newest collection, The Now Dark Sky, Setting Us All On Fire, paints a landscape of imagination where the Lord of Time might be bargained with as we are left “waiting to be swallowed whole.” The seductive tactility of Krut’s language reminds us of our bodies, our bones and teeth, our veins and fingerprints even as we move among dragons and giant arachnids. A provocative pendulum swinging from fantasy to physicality and back again, these poems acknowledge our longing for escape but leave us with the inescapable conclusion that we are tethered now and forever to ourselves and to this blood drenched world. —KMA Sullivan

Book cover for poetry collection The Now Dark Sky Setting Us All on Fire by Robert Krut
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Book cover for poetry collection This Is the Ocean by Robert Krut

This Is the Ocean is now out of print, but available by request and through select booksellers.

This Is the Ocean

Winner of the Melissa Gregory Lanitis Poetry Award

In Robert Krut’s second poetry collection, This is the Ocean, the speaker attempts to divine mysteries from circles coffee mugs have left behind as well as the code of the flickering gas station bathroom lights. The holy is seen in hundreds of bats taking flight as well as the trunk of a tree opening into the unknown. Where the speaker, in delicate promises, tells us that there are lies far too beautiful to be ignored. The wonder and the wisdom of these poems will burn in your memory like the bright neon of a pier’s Ferris wheel.  —Oliver de la Paz 


Forget you think you know your body, or your place. To be in a Krut poem is to have a new experience of “reality,” both physical and mental. He’s messing with physics, with natural law, in poems like dense, disruptive nuggets made of disparate particles from worlds that don’t fit together, but are pulled into belonging like filings that happen to share the same size and weight. And it’s just this kind of twisting of expectation, twirling of near-cliché into fresh and weirdly palpable expression that gives us an almost visceral experience of what feels like an altered sense of gravity, as if it’s been ratcheted up in strength at the same time as earth has grown both more fragile and more dangerous. This is the Ocean swerves between inner sermons and snakes, between the almost ghostly and the daily dictions of “dude.” As though driving can be a form of prayer. And hell is a grocery store parking lot. These are surreal meditations on the elusive, equally held by gnosis and ground. Here, as in The Spider Sermons, Krut writes poems that re-arrange our molecules.  —Sarah Maclay

"Each finger bursts into a comet,” writes Robert Krut with characteristic dazzle. Poem after poem in this welcome new collection gleams with invention and heart as it integrates mainstream and avant garde commitments, combining tenderly realistic, domestic focus with a constant surrealist drive toward fresh experiment. It’s a book that seeks “a new language” for brooding over affectionate days on this mad and touching planet of ours. —Barry Spacks


In a Robert Krut poem we might walk outside a nightclub and meet Medusa “snakes on her head long dead” and above her their souls in a “ghost snake halo” or we might see a man who’s been sleeping in his car for weeks wake and write where his breath has fogged the window, “Go away, go inside.”  We will always find the magical and disturbing along its streets, we will want to look at everything twice.  This Is the Ocean is alive with transformative power, images that sizzle, beautiful uncertainties and quiet humanity.  It is a memorable and compelling book. —Beckian Fritz Goldberg

Krut definitely delivers on his initial promise that ‘every breath will exhale lightning’ on this meditative journey; through his lyrical and technical prowess, he proves over and over again his ability to ‘tattoo your secrets / on the back of the moon’—the poet’s prerogative to immortalize the human condition within timeless imagery and lyricism. Hayden's Ferry Review


This is the Ocean’s philosophical musings and tight formalism echo Stevens, but Krut takes the blue guitar and plays it electric. The Los Angeles Review


Krut’s vision is uniquely idiosyncratic, and these poems are spare, surrealistic portraits of isolation in a modern city in a threatening world leavened by the author’s efforts to create light and make a distinctive mark. West Trade Review

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The Spider Sermons

Robert Krut’s new collection of poems, The Spider Sermons, bears lyric exactness and compassion into a new world of memory crossed with most things existential.  There is a sense of what is being seen here as with after images in an electrical storm. This is a brilliant book.  —Norman Dubie


These poems weave the urbane twists of highways and skyscrapers with the turns and foibles of love. Robert Krut delivers a precipice city, a galactic (but not preachy) spider, a narrator who sometimes wears a sandwich board.  In a world where “everything is becoming something else and drifting apart,” he praises the quirky tenacity of the imagination. —Laurie Kutchins


With a winning mixture of verve and tenderness, the poems in The Spider Sermons confront the extreme significance of our daily lives. It’s the most passionate of come-ons, but with the kindest of intentions. —Kazim Ali

“It’s zesty, utterly earnest at points, but worldwise and worthwhile . . . These poems spin a rock and roll lullaby for heavens that are under serious contemplation.” . . . “[A] sense of serious play– a smug wonder at the hard, amusing truths of humanity and eternity – is this collection’s greatest gift. The guidance systems we’ve been given are off and our collective naïveté is at once tragic, and a gut-buster.”  Hayden's Ferry Review

Book cover for poetry collection The Spider Sermons by Robert Krut
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