Tuesday, March 13, 2012
POST NATIVITY by Joe Hall
Publishing Genius 2012.
Here is a book of poems! It is a very very small book of poems, by Joe Hall, excerpted from his forthcoming full-length The Devotional Poems from Black Ocean. This little book came home with me from AWP, and it was very small and patient with me (some other books I brought home were loud! in a good way! but different!) but today I read it on my porch, and if I was already too excited for The Devotional Poems, then now my excitement is definitely unmanageable.
POST NATIVITY is a long poem in 3 parts--at moments it prays, other moments it's drunk and falling over, other moments it's being degraded, other moments it's looking around at the terrifying landscape of our inhabitable (UN-inhabitable?) spaces:
"On a plain of upset bricks, static television screen, a flat emergency
Tone, then the warnings of an angular language ..."
"The night sky gone berserk with light--O Beast, O Christ"
This little book takes advantage of its small spaces--long lines rollick from darkness into light and back again, into the language of ritual and passage, back down into "LOLOMG, Dear Dave, it's been a hard / couple weeks." And all the way throughout, the eerie shadow of modern global conflict. Our stupid wars. The evening news. The things we can't un-see.
"Pulled by gangs of men in orange jumpsuits
Bags tied over their heads, keeping pace with a falcon turning regular circles
Around an evil sun -- I watched the flame clothe a tree"
Read this stunning, powerful little book & then come over to my apartment and we'll plan activities to pass the time until it's 2013 and we're reading The Devotional Poems. I'll make snacks.
Posted by Wendy Xu at 1:57 PM