If anyone these days is hanging onto a notion of consistent stylistic evolution as aesthetic merit, this volume will do its best to disorient them, as Young's "many mansions" feature a variety of architectural modes. Could one predict the flights of Betabet from the unified narrative of "Grafton Bridge," much less "Lizard"? "George W.'s Language Primer" and "Maxims for Tom Beckett" are both very funny poems, but their humor is achieved in extremely different ways. If someone didn't know who wrote either "The Baggage Card" or "The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even," would s/he necessarily assume that the same author was responsible for both? Mark Young has the courage to be traditional, imagistically or narratively direct, discrete, serial, surreal, "experimental," and "difficult" in the same season, year, or cluster of years. The reward is ours.
--from the Introduction by Thomas Fink,... More > Editor< Less