Vertigo Diary by Larry Sawyer
|Vertigo Diary||Larry Sawyer||BlazeVOX [books]|
Larry’s poetry gives me the best kind of vertigo: the kind where you’re afraid of falling, but when you do you fall into a soft, meaty, sensual, smart ravine that shakes you pretty good, but instead of killing you it turns you into a Thinking Cocktail. What a scary and fine artist Mr. Sawyer is!
Larry Sawyer’s Vertigo Diary speaks from a three-fold poetics of self-consciousness, critique and humor so that we chuckle at and choke on our collective shortcomings. This book contains so many thrilling moments of high altitude lyricism that are skillfully balanced by an urbane desire to “progress beyond the / Need to fill our silences with such idiot carcasses.” In the end, Sawyer’s woozy and exquisite poems are shadow messages from the other side of ourselves, messages that unshackle language and let it loose in a dynamic field of play. When I hear these messages, I feel a rare sense of freedom; that is, “To their telegrams I respond / with a ponderous liberty.”
The secret love-child of Frank O'Hara and Paul Éluard, Vertigo Diary is a swirling romp into the city—through the mundane to the Pentagon to the not-so-probable. Sawyer's latest maps a world filled with beauty and longing, where the political, pop culture, and literary history meet in “our own private Pompeii.”
Larry Sawyer’s Vertigo Diary is a fine 21st century example of the poetry of the American Urban Sublime. More Ben Katchor’s Julius Knipl than Nelson Algren’s Frankie Machine, the author serves up a “moment salad” of incidentals in our day world and his sharp ear gets the real news down sans air quotes. Humane and wry, the book reads like the serial composition playing in my head—you just can’t tell what is awaiting you past the next period, comma or enjambment. Dialectic bebop.
In Vertigo Diary, Larry Sawyer gives us poems that are rich in idiosyncratic imagery and elusive, quotable metaphor (“Why was each moment such a miniature Troy?”). Sawyer’s exuberant sensibility has led him to confident lyric expression whose finest moments are beyond context.
Larry Sawyer has curated the Myopic Books Poetry Reading Series since 2005. With Lina ramona Vitkauskas he also edits milk magazine. Sawyer is also the co-director of The Chicago School of Poetics. His poetry and literary reviews have appeared in publications including Action Yes, The Argotist (UK), The Boston Review, The Chicago Tribune, Coconut, Court Green, Esque, Exquisite Corpse, Forklift Ohio, Jacket (Australia), The Miami Sun Post, MiPoesias, The National Poetry Review, Ploughshares, The Prague Literary Review, Rain Taxi, Shampoo, Skanky Possum, Tabacaria (Portugal), Van Gogh’s Ear (France), Vanitas, Verse Daily, Vlak (Czech Republic), and elsewhere.
His collection Unable to Fully California is available on Otoliths Press. Sawyer has read his work at venues including the Bonk Reading and Performance Series in Wisconsin, the Chicago Printer’s Row Lit Fest, Columbia College Chicago, The Hideout in Chicago, Myopic Books, The Poetry Center of Chicago, Quimby’s, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee.
· Paperback: 100 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· ISBN: 978-1-60964-137-5