Thursday, June 04, 2009

Lance Phillips: These Indicium Tales

I just wrote the following blurb for Lance Phillips' third book, to be published, like the first two, by Ahsahta Press. A blurb is also a review, so I'm issuing this one two or three months in advance of the book's publication:

Lance Phillips’ poetry takes us immediately into a carnal theater where the word and its thing stagger under the weight of their attraction for each other. Thus actions which are rational and understandable in real life, like having sex and then touching your ear, take on enthralling intensity. The drama of representation is also heightened because the visual frame is a series of quickly changing keyholes; each foreshortened view has immediacy. This is not conventional poetry, in which voluptuous intentions are pursued by means of poetic rhetoric. Lance Phillips’ poetry models consciousness itself. So description won’t do; it’s too removed and slow. Rather than reconstitute, the poet enacts: “Desire and perception meld: moist crease, sun / Wasp, it filled his mouth.” We are first witnesses as now, and again now, worlds interact: “On lips here her body in birds of the air.” To read this book is to experience a series of transformations; in effect, to learn to read all over again.

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At 8:29 PM, Blogger Christopher Willard said...

Hi Paul,
I just read your intro to Postmodern American Poetry and enjoyed it very much. Yes I know a long time ago but I came across the book in a used store. Now I want to read more of your work including The Novel.

Here's my literary blog...

best wishes,
Christopher Willard

At 9:00 AM, Blogger Tien Tran said...

No offense to you, Paul, you're a suave and intelligent man, but to me this is typical of the blurb - earnest but vague in statement, and not descriptive of the poetry itself. A few words of simple chacterization (these poems tell stories, these poems work by associational logic, thse poems are metered, etc.) could go a long way I think. Anyway, I don't mean to be a carping sideliner, but "voluptuous intentions," "poetic rhetoric," "reconstituting vs. enacting," etc, all seem dubious to me.

At 1:47 AM, Blogger Maxine Beneba Clarke said...

But is a blurb really a review? Seeing as how no-one in their right mind would put a negative blurb on the back of their book, that isn't really accurate is it? A review is uncensored, and often unsolicited. Or am I wrong?

Enjoying your blog, by the way. Interesting writing.


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