PositiveEntropy... vividly manifests a poetic reality where if there is any sense of \'clarity\' it only arrives along the lines described by Burroughs ... In so far as there is a discernible cast of characters engaged on a journey the poem arguably falls under the category of epic, calling to mind Ed Dorn’s Gunslinger. That, however, is about as far as it goes in terms of comparison. When looked back upon, after confronting Notley’s embedded guerre jaunt into post-apocalyptic primal roots of language-use, Dorn’s cartoonish noir treatment of The Western motif reads more like a drugstore paperback. There’s nothing like Dorn’s utilization of familiar cultural references which he cannily usurps in order indict the hypocrisy behind the American West past and present to be found in Notley’s poem. Such reassuring footholds for orientation have been discarded ... Notley acknowledges, \'This poem goes pretty far, and terrifies me, but it should be read for pleasure.\' Many readers however will find the poet’s encouragement to find \'pleasure\' from reading this challengingly divergent work of no use in their actually achieving that goal. Yet for dedicated readers of Notley (as well as those truly invested in experiencing experimental works of art) it is the very puzzling nature of the work that will in fact prove enticing. These readers will be quite up \'for the ride\' her title teasingly invites ... What reader of Notley will not be drawn irresistibly as ever into following her with this latest work in the hope of attempting decipher the results?
PositiveEntropyPoets should write books about other poets. There’s an intimacy comes of hearing about what attracts one poet to the work of another that is endlessly engrossing ... It is in just such fashion Terrance Hayes delivers the goods on Etheridge Knight. Hayes has no qualms acknowledging he approaches the project as a poet, not a scholar ... There’s arguably more detailed insight into Hayes provided here than there is that of Knight. This isn’t altogether a bad thing, either ... Hayes proves a generous and agreeably easy-going guide to an entertaining journey of what turns out to be, at least in part, his attempt to sort out the business of becoming a poet ... In the end, perhaps the most memorable portraits of Knight that Hayes turns up are provided by older poets who knew Knight personally. This doesn’t detract anything from the accomplishment of Hayes’s work either.
RaveThe RumpusRoffman’s biography, then, steps into what has been more or less vacant space, and her apt portrait of the elusive poet is sure to please. She generously fills the biography with an encapsulating account of the poet’s early years, from his childhood, his school years, and into early adulthood ... Roffman’s rendering of Ashbery’s early life has such spirited lift to its coursing byways and biographical thoroughfares that it comes as a disappointment — inevitable in an 'early life' project — when her narrative ends in the fall of 1955, with the twenty-eight-year-old poet’s departure to France ... Ashbery filled in details during extensive interviews, and gave Roffman access to his correspondence and contact information for friends and family ...Ashbery’s pithy, wisdom-wielding art, remains, as it should, a mysterious mix of happenstance and self-declared endeavor, shielded by the winsome tones of the work itself.
PositiveBookslut[Vangelisti] demonstrates an excellent sense, however, for understanding the finer nuances of Baraka's poems, and this final section impeccably demonstrates how strong Baraka's skills as a poet remained to the very end of his life ... The only blemish upon S.O.S. is how much Vangelisti's preface to this new collection is merely a restatement of his foreword to Transbluesency. Little attempt was made to rework much of that material; there are just a few additional remarks concerning the later work. It would have been much more valuable to leave the previous foreword as is and offer something entirely fresh as a preface for S.O.S.