I’m convinced the house was
Haunted, but maybe only because, when
I was young, I wished it had been haunted.
– from “Rebound, Restart, Renew, Rebuild, Rejoice”
Too many times we find ourselves living within the margins of our past experiences. We are justified annotations to quell prior bickering or change circumstance or update with the most current information. We are poems started 15 years before publication, but still waiting for the turn. And we are all waiting for our turn. We are “Train tracks pressed into the earth. Ghosts. A home”.
Timothy Otte gives us chance to hear him out in Rebound, Restart, Renew, Rebuild, Rejoice. This is his confession. This is his past through a metacognitive lens. These are his excuses and questions and hidden context all used to steer the reader into one way of thinking or the other. It’s a Choose Your Own Adventure, but instead of moving into different storylines, we get to decide who we believe – the past, present, or purgatory.
This is a book of rusty train yards, diesel gas, and quantum physics. This is love and loss and big feelings. This is the past seen as scenes with edits. This is how family works and doesn’t and how people are more than just reflections of what came before. This is life, and Otte is our teacher.