Republics of Reality: 1975-1995 (Sun & Moon Classics)

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9781557133045: Republics of Reality: 1975-1995 (Sun & Moon Classics)

At once the most paradoxically controversial and popular, accessible and most difficult of the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets, Bernstein is also the writer of that group who strove early on to experiment with the extremes of its newly minted methods. Whether highlighting the synaesthesis of the word in its isolation or in the plain phrase as it operates in daily life to convey our most banal thoughts, this collection of long out-of-print chapbooks -- none of these poems have appeared in ally of Bernstein's many breakthrough volumes, such as Islets/Irritations (1983) or Dark City (1994) -- provides a unique overview of his career, and adds to the range of his impressive canon of major and minor works. The first poem from the 1976 volume Parsing titled "Sentences", will surprise anyone expecting text-over-speech, as it is practically a litany of anxieties, attitudes and stuttering intensities. This attention to spoken language makes such dense works as "Poem" (from 1978's Shade) both welcoming and discomforting, expressionistically cinematic but not without its moments of eye-wink satiric narrative. In the short poems collected in The Absent Father in "Dumbo" and Residual Rubbernecking, Bernstein takes the project far from the austere fragments of the early works and deep into a purposely "purple" and unbeautiful lyricism: "Such mortal slurp to strain this sprawl went droopy/Gadzooks it seems would bend these slopes in girth/None trailing failed to hear the ship looks loopey/Who's seen it nailed uptight right at its berth". Bernstein always manages to find the furthest reaches of any norms of "good taste" (be it mainstream or avant-garde), creating a poetics that reveals the social codes hidingbehind all of poetry's tropes and forms. Though many of the later poems here seem unfocused and minor compared to the fabulous and ambitious early chapbooks, the volume as a whole presents as many promises as it does relevant problems, as many beauties as it does strange new imaginings.

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Review:

#23
The Absent Father In Dumbo
The Ache Of The Archivist
After Campion
Air Shaft
All The Tea In China
Almost There
Ambient Detonation
Appropriation
April
Are You Being Sarcastic?
As If The Trees By Their Very Roots Had Hold Of Us
At The Reading
At The Reading: 2
At The Reading: 3
August
Autonomy Is Jeopardy
Azoot D'puund
Ballet Russe
The Bean Field
Beginning With Lines Torn From Irby
Bought Off
Broadway
Buffalo Nights
Bulge
But Boxes Both Boats, Growing Tireder As The Day Amasses
Butcher Boys
Catabolism
Consideration
The Critic's Chair
Cumulative Erasure
Custom Blinds
Damage Control
December
Dodgem
The Dog Is Dead
Dunvegan
The Ecology Of Freon
Edlin
Electric
The Elephant Appears
Emma
External Market Constraints
Faculty Politics
Fever Of Case
For ---
Forefright
Forensic Gastronomy
Fugitive Desperation
'get Real'
Hard Copy
Hard Feelings
Have Pen, Will Travel
Hotel Empire
I'll Call When I Get There
Idiopathic Pathogenesis
If There Were A God She Wouldn't Expect Us To Believe In Her
Internal Loss Control
The Iron Ring And The Ecstasy
Is Like A
It's Up Up
Kiff-kiff
The Land And Its People
Lift Off
Liftjar Agate
Like The Days That Fade Away, Reference Of The Months
Likening Then
Lo Disfruto
Lobby
Long Trails Of Cars Returning From The Beach
Loose Shoes
Mall At Night
Mao Tse Tung Wore Khakis
March
May
Misty
New Year's
'nickey, Turn Off The Lights'
No Tieing Up
Not Bads Once You're In
Nudge
Of A Sort
Of Course
'out Of This Inside'
Palinode
Palukaville
Parsing: 2
Pinky Swear
Plausibly Deniable Link
Playing With A Full Deck
Poem
Poem
Power Walking
Prehensible Privilege
Railroad Street
Reperfusion
Residual Rubbernecking
Resistance
Revolutionary Poem
Rivulets Of The Dead Jew
Roseland
Senses Of Responsibility
Sentences: 1
September
The Sheds Of Our Webs
Shell
Soapy Water
Social Pork
Some Nights
Soul Under
Space And Poetry
St. Mcc
Stigma
Stove's Out
Stumps
Stunment
Sunset Sail
Swelled By Certainty
Take Then, These
The Taste Is What Counts
Techniques Of The Observed
Tense
To Which I Never Wanted
Trill
Type
Umbre
Under The Pink Tent
The Vanishing Of Aporia
Wading For What
You
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder®

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