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Book cover for "Watch Me Trick Ghosts"
October 2021
Codhill Press


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Watch Me Trick Ghosts

Robert Krut

In "Watch Me Trick Ghosts," Robert Krut reveals a city weaving between a surreal consciousnesses and concrete imagination, where speakers are fully aware that “the scars of the world are turning neon” (“Accidental Light”). Among them, spirits hide and appear in tree lines, behind bookcases, even “etching a name into a street sign pole with a knife” (“You Are the Street, You Are the Sleep”). These poems skillfully veer between lyrical moments of intimacy and urgent messages seemingly sent from the negative space surrounding a dream. It may be the case that “fear is a blade held in a lung” (“The Anxious Lever of Lowering Sky”), but in the quietest hours of night, strangers can connect through striking images that cast a spell.


Robert Krut is a graduate of the ASU MFA Program in Creative Writing (1999). He is the author of four books: "Watch Me Trick Ghosts," "The Now Dark Sky, Setting Us All on Fire," "This is the Ocean" and "The Spider Sermons." He teaches in the writing program and College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and lives in Los Angeles.

Praise for this book

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. 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
Author of "Department of Elegy"

Reading the wildly liminal, imagistically shimmery and marvelously tricked-out poems in Robert Krut’s "Watch Me Trick Ghosts," I kept thinking 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. 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.

Matt Hart
Author of "Everything Breaking/For Good"