Displaying articles for: March 2009
Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: Over Thirty Years of Conversations with Robert Irwin
?the world in two, make a hoodoo soup with chicken necks,
A gumbo with plutonium roux, a little snack
Before the dirt and jalapeno stew that will shuck
The skin right off your slinky hips, Mr. I'm-not-stuck?
I challenge you not to remember this as you eat your next meal. The book is organized in three sections: mambos (from the Bantu "conversations with the gods"), "abecedarian" sonnets, and odes. Hamby says she particularly explored the constructs of odes to create poems that "incorporated Pindar's wild associations and Horace's intimacy yet still had the syntax and diction of the 21st century mind." But really, all her work could be described thusly. Swiveling, strumming, and slicing through air like an Alvin Ailey ensemble, Hamby exhales a world the shape of associated conditions and intimate emotions out of her carefully chosen words. The poems are individually stunning. Collected together, they dance.
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.