The Slip by George Tysh
|The Slip||George Tysh||BlazeVOX [books]|
His engagement with the variable foot of William Carlos Williams gives a new spring and all to George Tysh’s remarkable collection The Slip. For much of the book, especially the haunting title poem, an isolated phrase appears, then the next descends, and then another, each open space miming the way breath appears in human speech, as an aid to understanding and an absolute electric charge—at times one of volcanic intensity. The “slip” between word and meaning shimmers, whitens, makes the page a visual playbook of repetitions and variation. Then there are the quotes, gems from recent reading, so that, as in Spicer’s later books, the poem becomes a latticework of the great poetries of many Western tongues. Pessoa, Patti Smith, Irigaray, Deleuze, Isaac Babel, Rancière, Maeterlinck, Laura Riding, beloved Reverdy, Freud, The Castle, Jane Eyre —an aleatory charge animates this work, like the old Merce Cunningham method of drawing slips of paper from a sack to reveal and define the next dance move. Finally I read slips between words, the way you might drop a letter from one word, add a new one, the word pivots and turns and reveals new facets of beauty, meaning, terror. “Pole/ rhymes/ with/ stool,” he writes, in “Crosswords. ” “A/ rebus/ for/ abuse.” He’s an anagram kid, like me; you would be too, perhaps, were your name Tysh. It’s a wonderfully young book, vivacious yet wise and vatic, like Jean Seberg in A Bout de Souffle. And my God, so beautiful.