Canyonesque. BlazeVOX [Books], 2011.
Distance. BlazeVOX [Books], 2012.
I really enjoyed the complex, playful, sometimes impressively contorted rhythms of Mark Ducharme’s recent book of poems,Answer, published by BlazeVox. Those rhythms combine well with the book’s rich and frequently surprising vocabulary. While some lines in the book are bluntly political, more often the poems create a moody and shadowed (yet somehow also deadpan Midwestern) romanticism, one in which clarity of thought and action repeatedly finds itself deflected by misunderstanding and uncertainty.
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Saturday, May 12, 2012
—for Tom Clark
I must tell you how
Under a clear afternoon sky,
I sat under an umbrella
Reading a friend’s book
Of poems that had traveled
Halfway round the world
To end up here—
In the evening, no umbrella,
No moon in sight, no need to tell you
How close the stars were that night.
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Buy the Tom Clark Collection here
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At the great Jacket2, Tinfish Editor Susan Shultz discusses Rambo Goes to Idaho:
In her discussion of empire, race, power, and violence, Shultz writes, "By virtue of his subject position, combined with his politics, Abels cannot assume a position of extremity in either direction. His position is an absurd one, but he has thought his way into that absurdity with a courage different from that of his subject. What his work offers back are the very complexities we are heir to, delivered up not as entertainment for the masses, but for those few of us who read poems. In his 2008 review of the last Rambo movie, A.O. Scott noted that, “the movie does have its own kind of blockheaded poetry.” Abels's poetry is not blockheaded in any way, nor is it particularly cinematic. As work that is neither visual nor violent, it offers us a possible space for meditation, a place from which to contemplate the violence of power, and perhaps another--less entertaining, but more productive--way out of it."
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