Here’s an unusual chance to see the inner workings of a poet’s mind. Passing images, unanswered questions, social ills, daily frustrations—nothing is too big or too small to be worth observing and considering.

“He had the window seat. After take-off he said, ‘My line is socks; what’s yours?’ I said I was a writer. He smiled his least impressive smile and asked, ‘What do you write?’ I paused and said, ‘I hope they are poems.’ ‘Where are you headed now?’ he added. I told him I’d been invited to recite my poems at a university. ‘They pay you for that?’ ”

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You know Mike Aquilina from his TV shows on EWTN, from his bestselling books on the Church Fathers, from his podcasts, from his radio appearances. But do you know Mike Aquilina the poet? The Invention of Zero is a collection of splendidly humorous poems in a glittering variety of forms. If you thought about the structures of these poems, you would be dazzled by their technical brilliance. But you’ll probably be enjoying yourself too much to think about technique. This is poetry doing what poetry does best—making us laugh, making us think, making us feel and remember.

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