I love the clear style, unforced music. It is not so much a strange poetry as the poetry of a stranger, the way Bishop was a Brazilian in Boston and a Bostonian in Brazil. I fell in love with your “blue fruit” and “inescapable tomorrow,” also what seems like renunciation not of sentimentality but of cliché …I like even the quasi-Romantic dislocations here: “There is a beauty to ice / only a statue understands.” I’m not a statue, so I only partially understand, but that should be more than enough for LARRY SAWYER’s uncanny picnic on no grass … seemed as real as the Bronx, and I couldn’t stop thinking: I am so lucky that this poetry is so good.—David Shapiro
Surrealist poetry is alive and well and living in America today, thanks in no small part to Larry Sawyer, and his first book, Unable to Fully California gives cause for rejoicing … Sawyer has a comic genius. He also has a Surrealist genius and perhaps a prophetic genius as well. —David Madgalene, Big Bridge magazine
I was gladdened to receive this spirited book in the mail via Lulu and not having heard of Larry Sawyer or his poetry before I feel reinvigorated now because of both. Quite simply this book is iconic in its straightforward energy and dazzling virtuosity and, in fact, I feel like the equal parts delight and amazement provided by this book (that holds many stylistic irons in the fire) display a technical daring and restless humor that is exactly what is lacking in many a contemporary book of poetry that calls itself modern. Filled with local colour and some kind of bizarre international flair these poems, for all their decentered charm, reveal quite personal mysteries and emanate an edgy verve that repeated readings reaffirmed. By turns complex and kooky, the deceptive simplicity of themes presented by these discordant tones use randomness to such successful effect that my first impulse upon finishing this poetic tour de force was to reread what I’d just enjoyed.
Larry Sawyer's book is a treasure. It reinvents and flamencos with language playfully, thoughtfully, and truthfully. This is poetry at its best--where images snap like sugar peas in the mouth and whip smart commentary rivets you with a subtle chop to the neck. This is 007 poetry--sexy, direct, and shaken with an Ashbery-like acumen for the casual poetic Molotov cocktail in the nunnery. Bravo!
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