not human enough for the census

Poems by Erik Fuhrer
Art by Kimberly Androlowicz
Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2019

"In Erik Fuhrer's not human enough for the census, there are creatures of dark habits, organ breathers, tree butchers, and 1 in 100 scientists agree the state of god is liquid. In these poems, aftermath requires a new language. Dust and ash compound with mother and father, mud compounds with blossom. These spare lyrics contain numerous transformations, and  'just because the body is gone/does not mean the absence of body is gone.' Absences loom everywhere--the mouth, the breath, the treacherous god in the tempest."

 

—Traci Brimhall

Author of Saudade

Sample Art from the Book

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Book Trailer

In Erik Fuhrer’s Not Human Enough for the Census, toxins inhabit the living like ghosts moving through generations, as silent and unseen as they are deadly; there’s “oil in blood, breastmilk, saliva” and bodies with coal for eyes…. That is, the fluidity of his verse blurs the boundaries between bodies and their environment; it exposes hurricanes as climate ignorance, and shows how, here in the age of the Anthropocene, poetry can evoke a sense of the anti-nature we're ushering into being.

 

–Steve Tomasula

Author of VAS: An Opera in Flatland

Reviews

"This use of space imbues the poems with superb sonic qualities. The whole collection reads like a song, flowing sometimes-smoothly and sometimes-jaggedly from one page to the next. As it slowly crescendos and the snatches of a bleak and decayed environment come into focus, we are finally offered an answer to our question. Who is not human enough for the census? Us, perhaps."

-Neon Books

census mach2.jpg

"The language in not human enough for the census is sharp and packs a punch. It’s not hiding hard truths within flowery language, but instead shows the power of the simple written word presenting us with our reality. “make sure you put on some rouge / so at least the disaster / is a beautiful disaster.” Moments like this show Fuhrer framing our situation as a “not if, but when” scenario, but I find a dark comfort in it; I’m grateful someone is so candid and upfront about the trajectory we find ourselves on."

-Joseph Haeger

Independent Book Review

The language in not human enough for the census is sharp and packs a punch. It’s not hiding hard truths within flowery language, but instead shows the power of the simple written word presenting us with our reality. “make sure you put on some rouge / so at least the disaster / is a beautiful disaster.” Moments like this show Fuhrer framing our situation as a “not if, but when” scenario, but I find a dark comfort in it; I’m grateful someone is so candid and upfront about the trajectory we find ourselves on.  

Michael Prihoda

After the Pause

"This collection is immersive and forces the reader to confront disaster as a sprawling, volatile force that exposes awe, horror, and humor in the same vein. To navigate through these poems is to sink into each layer and listen to the voices that are freed when the human decomposes. The poems feel radioactive, charged with multiple force that clash with each other and make material that is unstable. This collection ultimately investigates happens when the human becomes compost, becomes indiscernible from the detritus of disaster, and speculates what remains when what is human morphs into decay."

-Scarlett Wardrop

Ecotheo Review

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