Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Something about green torn silk"

Just finished reading and re-reading the new book by Joseph Lease, Testify.  I had been capitvated last year by Broken World, his collection that came out in 2007, and this new book, is thankfully as complex, as beautifully fragmented and musical as the previous volume.  The loops of repetition, a line or phrase or cluster of words repeated, here and there, not randomly but artfully, are always surprising. Here's a section of "Send My Roots Rain."

                (eyes shift

like promises, hair wet, apples and linen, just for today)--a
thunderstorm opens--birches in rain, are we breaking,
decorum slits my mouth, he finds a way to lie-lightning
and flat farms confuse me like wine--wine spills--thief,
thief of souls, thief, thief of light, fine, depression it is,
roast beef, Creature Features and Cheetos, Space Food
Sticks, thin birdsong, you your twin--"there was enough--
there was enough alone in you" your eyes like rain eyes like
rain smile like rain something about green torn silk:

I get excited by the charged immediacy of Lease's language. Riding the train, I look up from one of his poems, I open my notebook and my pen jumps and starts, hiccups, and sings.

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