Displaying articles for: February 2008
?blue mats, yellow plates and cups,
a single jonquil in the bud vase
on the lazy Susan, and a hand--
to turn nearer
the small blue and white pitcher?
Gibson's poems resemble D�rer prints or Rembrandt paintings in their dedication to homely life. One sprig of basil fed to a dying woman conjures "goat cheese and a crust / of bread, the dust / of ruins and wild thyme. / ? her dead husband's / living mouth." Death haunts One Body -- the poems grieve the death of friend, father, sister; a mother's aging; "snipe and wolf / snow goose, dolphin, quail and lark." But Gibson expresses an equally devout, passionate affection for living: "Tonight, though I would like to ease / The length of my body along the length / Of my husband's and enter, breath / By breath, the heat two bodies make." Lines break with deliberation. The poem's rhythms are like rowing, purposeful and steady, and the poet's vision is prayerfully attentive. At every opportunity Gibson pushes at boundaries of subject and form. The result is a book of exquisite sadness and hopeful beauty. "I have always been alone, and I have never been alone. / What I used to call the self is a winnowing of light / in the flood plain of the boundless." -
And women too. Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others. Warning: choking-up hazard.
Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.
Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.