Saturday, September 1, 2007

Two books of poems worth owning

Gunslinger
poems by Ed Dorn
The late Ed Dorn wrote a masterpiece with "Gunslinger", an anti-epic poem that prefigures many post-modern gestures from its 60s era starting point. Funny, cartoonish, erudite to the extreme, it also locates a tuned lyricism in the Western vernaculars that Dorn uses: the metaphysical aspect of our legends, the sheer questing for answers as Euro-Americans come treading closer to a West coast that will stop them and force them to settle and create lives from dust and ingenuity, comes alive in way that never escapes the zaniness of Dorns' narrating inquiry into the nature of the search.

Civil Noir

poems by Melanie Neilson

Melanie Neilson has a genius for tearing apart the suggested givens of an image ,and then reassembling the details in ways that confound meaning. She gives a long look behind the set designs of our social construction, and inserts a heated zaniness into our negoitations with the normal. Her sense is visual, her language--exploded, elongated, twisted, resolutely reshaped---sensual and snaking with percolating pleasures.

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