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The Language Signifier: Visual Writing and Ecologies of Dimensionality By Tom Hibbard
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"... we must remember that “visual writing,” the basic subject of discussion in this collection of reviews, does not per se contain or represent specific writings or specific texts.... More > Visual writing and visual poetry demonstrate the way language works, the characteristic attributes of its generative substantiveness—its unblemished patterns, its many structures—its dominion, its universality. The politics and antiquated modalities of colonialism and subjugation are removed from the very conception and constitution of language structure and political and economic activity: permitting “even triviality in discourse, commonplaces, redundancy, intelligibility...” ... Visual writing and visual poetry make use of the implicit semantic field as one in which “fragmentation” and ambiguity present truthful if tenuous patterns and universes of possibility that contain “both illusion and reality.” -Tom Hibbard< Less
LEG MIST By John M. Bennett
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LEG MIST: The dream of blood the dream of fountain pens on the window bang bang la pinche descarnada in the moat worms lengua de madera yr name off ff inds yr nname was tines yr book re moved espejo... More > de grava garabatos to be read run dust falling from the fridge dream of sssilence sensa tez de hoja inescrita thrumming in a cloak of bees the dark letters of your skin it's meat inside yr phone form split form split storm spit word wheel wheel turd meal ppapel rasgado que me llee el center of time's tail in mouth escríbame con lluvia mas no me rajes no me nombres onda tumba : j'ai haine de la poésie w i n d wind w i n d ~ ~ ~< Less
Twilight Cantos By Iván Argüelles
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From the beautiful, askew opening line of this book, “as much are the years gone now as snow,” to the profound concluding speculations—“Is the world made in the shape of... More > language?”; “A lifelong search for sound in meaning”— 'Twilight Cantos' reaches into a darkness few books, few films, few songs, few symphonies, few paintings—few artists—even recognize. Argüelles has always been a powerhouse, but there is a lifetime singing in every line of this book. —Jack Foley< Less
taxonomic drift By Mark Young
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(1 Ratings)
I thought I had died & ascended to the heathens when I read this book. So excited to discover that adherents to — practitioners of, yet — the poésie maudit that I espoused are... More > still active, even if they are living in some far-flung geography like Patagonia or North Queensland or Novaya Zemlya, & even if the technology they embrace & write about has moved past sewing machines & umbrellas & into realms that I, in my wildest moments, could not have imagined. I am in love! — Isadore Ducasse, author of Les Chants de Maldoror. MARK YOUNG is a poet, visual poet, and the Editor of OTOLITHS.< Less
Containers Projecting Multitudes: Expositions on the Poetry of John M. Bennett By Jim Leftwich
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Jim Leftwich takes on the enigmatic, complex poetry of John M. Bennett in a series of explorations of Bennett's books. Leftwich, a poet, is an authority on Bennett's ways of writing. His expositions... More > include essay-like discussions, close readings of individual poems and lines, and glosses, hacks, and re-writings of Bennett's texts. The re-writings create new poems and are ways in which Leftwich inhabits and/or illuminates the originals. At each chapter's end, there is an email exchange between the two, discussing or clarifying aspects of the preceding exposition. The book is a fascinating journey toward the heart of a unique poet, whose work is generally impossible to approach using standard critical methodologies. This is a great opportunity to examine not only the mysteries of John M. Bennett's poetry under the sharp magnification of the mind of Jim Leftwich, but a way to engage with Leftwich's remarkable work as a poet and thinker about poetry.< Less
DROPPED IN THE DARK BOX By John M. Bennett
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Poetry makes things happen, makes us happy by making things happen. Concoct meanings as you wish, sort and sift them, discard them in the end and enjoy the machinery of the poem at work. Poems make... More > little things happen, but worlds are made of little things, lives are made of little things. A poem should mean and be and do, simultaneously and sequentially. Open this book to page 12 and read "found the fistula," which might be thought of as a kind of mini ars poetica...Read a poem once and you know that it exists. Read it twice and you might think you know some of what it means. Read it three times and you suspect it of nonexistence. The poem will not sit still for your inspection. While reading it the fourth time you suspect you have some sort of slithering, slippery, shape-shifting chimera before your eyes. It is made of signs and sings and sounds and sooouuunds, slimy shifting symbols and sticky surfaces...Poetry makes us happy by making things happen. - Jim Leftwich< Less
i REmeMBER PETRolEUM By Jim Leftwich
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"These poems are okay just being themselves. The poems are not self-satisfied, but unavoidably as full of themselves as of the world, pick a world, any world-in-the-making composed of no last... More > words, worlds where being(‘s) content’s exactly the length of a song, or 391 songs. While Tom Taylor has it that 'the poem is no object dangling in space, a baked potato on a string' Leftwich’s poems may well be baked potatoes on strings, if that’s what the song’s about, if that’s the occasion, the baked potato moment, the song sculpts", "...each a fanned snapshot stack or fractal spill of 45s, choose a song, pick a word, Leftwich’s 'sitting on tHE bus with a dictIOnary aND you,' saying cheese as the moment snaps its selfie, while & because the world’s worlding within & without." - John Crouse< Less
CIEN SONETOS By Iván Argüelles
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With the words “I am become something more than myself” Iván Argüelles opens the third of these 100 sonnets. This describes his entire body of work, but in these poems we find... More > the poet pursuing that “something more” across dark ground, the shadowland of death. Suffering from the loss of his son and driven by that sorrow through what the mythic terrain renders of absence itself. He confronts this inversion, this loss of self, by eloquently revealing one layer after another of startling imagery that speaks to us on a level no common tongue can tell. The result is an intuitive map of both the poet’s subconscious and the collective memory of the species singing out of the ancient sources. Argüelles always enchants, but in these sonnets he ferries us across the river and allows us to see what must forever remain unseen. He makes darkness shine. - Jake Berry< Less
The House of Grand Farewells By Bob Heman
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At the end of "The House of Grand Farewells", Bob Heman explains the methodology he used in creating these marvelous prose poems. The random discovery of words that 'caught his imagination'... More > in a particular book allowed Bob to embrace the Bretonian surrealist vision of 'Objective Chance.' Words (or objects) that we happen upon embody our hidden desires and our connection to the Universal Unconscious. That being said, "The House of Grand Farewells" is not about literary history; it is the chance, in each prose poem, to take a delightful trip to a place we have never seen before. - Lawrence R. Smith, editor of "Calibanonline"< Less
SESOS EXTREMOS By John M. Bennett
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If there's one thing I've learned from reading John M. Bennett's poetry for 20+ years, it's that things can change in an instant. At first you think some of the pieces you've been reading are... More > hardcore concrete poetry, poetry of the physicality of words, of expression, the mechanicality or instrumentality of thought. But then you happen to watch a performance by John and you've got the book in your hand, and suddenly you realize that a certain percentage of the poems, or even of any given poem, might suddenly become a very succinct notation for an agile, well oiled vocal performance where some strange fog is playing the 'john-horn' or its fog suit avatar. There are collaborations, works inspired by travel and friendships, poems in Spanish and French, and engagement with the entireties of many avant-garde traditions and anti-traditions. John M. Bennett is a national treasure. -Lanny Quarles< Less