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Metamericana by Seth Abramson Reviewed in New Pages

  

Metamericana

  • Image
  • Poetry
  •  Seth Abramson
  • 2015
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-60964-194-8
  • Paperback
  • 120pp
  • $16.00
  • Benjamin Champagne
A good poem places pressure on language in an interesting way. This mantra can be peeled from the pages of Seth Abramson’s Metamericana. However, his secret seems to be that a good poem places pressure on ideas in an interesting way—that a good idea places pressure on old ideas in an interesting way. Philosophy places pressure on technology and technology places pressure on philosophy. All of this interacts in a swirling and kaleidoscopic manner. 

The Metamodernists use the prefix meta, derived from Plato’s metaxis. In Metamodernism, it is the movement between modernism and postmodernism that grants a static and stable nature. Elements that were often opposed now seen to be one, mostly irony and sincerity. To achieve this, Abramson uses conceptual poetry, the creative methodology of which he describes at the end of the work. 

The book begins with two patterned pieces. The opening poem is called “Genesis”: “Much made of little. Little made of knowledge. Knowledge made of scholarship.” The poem continues on like that for an entire page, the movement from each subject fluid and logical, occasionally funny or transgressive. A further glimpse provides more insight:
Moonlight made of fantasy. Fantasy made of cleverness. Cleverness made of ridicule. Ridicule made of Hondas. Hondas made of steel. Steel made of Superman. Superman made of Marvel. Marvel made of DC. DC made of politicians. Politicians made of turkey. Turkey made of banks. Banks made of efficacy. Efficacy made of ink. Ink made of blood. Blood made of chocolate. Chocolate made of God. God made of Bibles. Bibles made of laws.
His commentary on what it takes to create a fantasy is all rolled up in the clever turns of phrase he delivers. These in turn help him to comment on politics and society from a position that lacks self­righteousness. The poems arrive in these positions naturally and move out of them just as easily, passing through God, Genetics, Uncertainty and Humanity. The poem finishes by saying “Men made of women. Women made of women. Women made of women. Women made of women,” assumedly into infinity. 
 

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