Athena Departs is a follow up to the Pulitzer Prize Nominated book, The Draw of Broken Eyes and Whirling Metaphysics. If there's one thing I can always count on, it's that Clifford Brooks carries the fire. There's a manic passion in his work, and from what I've seen of him over the years, you'll find the same in his life, his every day a pool of gasoline waiting for the match, and it's hard not to feel that flame catch on and spread into my own life whenever I read his poetry or speak or write with him. His intensity for the work that goes into writing and promoting the work of others, and his dogged determination for poetic perfection even while knowing perfection is unobtainable is inspiring for those of us who know his work well, and I hope you'll take the time to read this book and enter that ring of fire. With Athena Departs, we have another collection born of that endless struggle, where Brooks puts into words what life has put into him--the roadblocks and majesties, the miracles and knock-out punches, all elevated to a plane where his poems seem to sing, each a choir preaching idealism and fire with a cadence that's playful yet rich with purpose, as in his poem "In Athens the Affair is Elysium" The incendiary acceptance of obsession makes us unconscious of everything except carnal screams. We are not dreams. We are not akin to sin. His wordplay dances on the page and imbues the reality of love and passion with an arcane decadence, an obsession realized with any shame. Poem after poem Brooks champions this kind of passion, this kind of life, and as you progress through the collection you realize Clifford Brooks is building a mythology. - James H Duncan is the founding editor of Hobo Camp Review, a former editor with Writer's Digest, and is the author of such poetry collections as Dead City Jazz, Berlin, and Dealing With the Devil in the Middle of the Road, as well as two short story collections, his most recent being What Lies In Wait.