One of the other books that I started reading on the Airbus that I thought was going down was Kevin White, by Ed Barrett (from Pressed Wafer), the first volume of a multi-part project re: Boston. I really liked the writing, in these prose poems - the movement from one thought/image to the next, often within the same sentence, and the rapid shifts between registers of language.
It also made me wish I knew more about Boston. The poems are as dense with allusions to Bostonia as they are imaginatively nimble. I know who Nomar Garciaparra is ("No-mah"). And Fanny Howe and John Wieners (tho these two function more as personages than historical people). But, unlike Nomar, a lot of it got past me. I mean, I'm sure I could write a series of poems about Memphis, full of Dancin' Jimmys and Henry Loebs and Little Laura Dukeses, going to hear the Klitz at the Well, blah blah blah, and the people my age back home might get a kick out of it, and the rest of you would be going wtf is he talking about.
Not that that's a bad thing. I don't know if Kevin White is Slow Poetry, but it is LoPo (local poetry). There's something attractive about really well-written poems directed to a local audience - and if the rest of us don't get it - well, spend more time in Beantown, dammit!
All of which is to say that maybe the "prose poem novel" is not (as the back cover suggests) the appropriate generic label. At least the novel part. There are recurrent personages and images, but it's hard to connect the dots. (I'm currently reading Sherre Myers' Green Ink Wings [Elixir], which, altho discontinuous - and multi-genre - clearly involves the same 4 main characters)
Nonetheless, there are some persons I "know" (like the Virgin Mary and the Prodigal Son), from the section entitled "The Big Dig":
"Underworlds right under our noses, intelligence gathering without recognition or knowledge. ProdigalSon15_22 posts his blog on Luke.com, but even that gets boring: JPEGS of harlots, slopping pigs under the entry 'I went to Harvard for this?' online predators who want to meet on the Fenway. It gets old, there's no heartbeat in Google's 0 and 1 digital iambic to carry DNA over fiber optic cable, wireless broadband packets arrowing out of the sky right into your inner chamber with its kneeling post. The good son studies Renaissance paintings of the Annunciation, Mary's face turned to the side in neither disbelief nor wonder. That's how to react, Mickey Roache instructs the Boston PD. Mary was a true cop."
I dunno . . . I think that's pretty good, myself . . .
Kevin Varrone's BOX SCORE: An Autobiography of Zeroes - [I'll be delivering this talk in Ottawa, Kansas on Friday. In the meantime, I highly recommend Kevin's book; I've read it a dozen times now, and it has rew...
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