recent reading

Mel Nichols, Catalytic Exteriorization Phenomenon

Lots of air and space and unexpected good intrusions in these poems. There’s something beautiful and innocent about them, maybe faux innocent?: anyway wide-eyed. Receptive. Little aerated slices of time; the space in them relaxes me a little.

“somehow we all expected to be exasperated little gods”

“The deep blue velvet suit lady telling/ the deep blue velvet suit man/ where he cannot pee”

Alan Davies, Odes

I feel mixed about these poems but there are two I love unreservedly: “Slooping Down the Long Slope Towards” and “As If It Were Not Always Otherwise Or So.”

They are lush, their lines capacious enough to hold phrases that flutter up to me like these:

“ringlets of spruced time”
“mantles of curling spice”
“baskets full of air, and bully for them”
“slim slick crimp taken in time by one who dies”

Julian T. Brolaski, A Buck in a Corridor

Intense and dense: flavor-packed. Absolutely attentive to each word’s materiality. The queerness that emerges as theatric struggle, the deliberate archaisms:

“the fish begin to speak queerly”

“melodious offal”

“ersatz chaleur”

“to each thir blasphemy”

Notes on Conceptualisms, Rob Fitterman & Vanessa Place

I have only just begun to think about this book. I think it needs a discussion group. I love aphorisms. They make me ask myself, what’s true? Sometimes aphorisms seem true because they sound true:

“The Sobject is the properly melancholic contemporary entity.”
“Note that the absence of mastery is old hat for females and other others.”
“When is a critique not a critique?”

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