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During her paleontological work in the southwestern United States and Bolivia, Susan Smith Nash recorded findings in a set of field books. A Paleontologist's Notebook contains interconnected poems and prose writings processed from the information she compiled. "The river was a braided stream, filled with sand bars and shallow crossings." In his introduciton, David Matlin remarks that her work "reminds me of William Carlos Williams's essay on Poe, where he says: 'Poe saw the end; unhappily he saw his own despair at the same time; yet he continued to attack...seeking to discover, and discovering, points of firmness by which to "stand" and grasp, against the slipping... His attack was "from the center out.'" The same desperation is at work in these poems. Nash attacks as determinedly, as coolly, as did Poe: "...but look / I have my partial claw--half-preserved & half erased / a measure I hold graphically correlate w/my life to find or forget compressed time--c'est ma griffe scratch into / earth--" Nash confronts the spectre of mass extinction, of populations sliding into categories of surplus: "kimberlite mortal sparrow nickels cans 7-Up--like Anglo- / Saxon catalogue poem formal intricacy at twist end ironic or / not--"
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Inoculate me, my yielding flesh w/sore / feeling by stealthy steps lineaments in eyes to hell; / find my echo more void do you undertsand why? / why 500-million-year plants so resemble opium / hard & lithified like drizzling illusion; chapped / cup plates this my private devotional shrine / on Western sun & cowboy mythos whipping rodeo / into starlight lashes, prayer painting articulations / between joints, a single-hair brush dripped w/cleansing / acid stroke lightly prisocrinus varus new species crinoid / broad arm-article facets kneeling I at outcrop rockhammer / take down slab of time De Quincey's Confessions of an / English Opium Eater (1822) "but, I, who have taken happiness, / in both in a solid and a liquid shape" jeep door slamming / departure, so for manufactured closure, I measure basal / concavity cup of this lily fossil poppy curved breasts my / replacement not mineral not nourishment a calcium carbonate / drip to earth, barren ambrosia in this Devonian crinoid / "sermon in stone" intertextuality's desperate art decoratif / my inner beating watch craving laminae, pages, meaning...Review:
Last year Clayton Eshleman's "Under World Arrest" was my poetry book of the year, a genuine publishing event that went under noticed. This year, it's Susan Smith Nash's Notebook. Nash bring her awareness of the condition of our world to each poem in a way that keeps this volume of short meditation, long prose poems, notations from her [Bolivian] notebooks, and the anti-lyrics of a seemingly simple poem like "Inside the Zip-Up Grape Ape" all connected and to be read as a piece, one long poem, a paleontologist's notebook in the sense that Charles Olson's collected non-maximus poems were an archeologist's notebook--from "The Center Out..." by Joe Napora -- Small Press Review
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Book Description Left Hand Books, New York, 1995. Soft Cover. Condition: New. Photos, drawings (illustrator). 1995 Printing. 1995 paperback book . BRAND NEW from 1995 publisher . Never opened, Never owned, never marked . Gift Giving quality . 6 x 9" size; 65 pages . illustrated with Photographs & drawings & facimiles of field notebooks . During her paleontology work in the Southwestern United States and Bolivia, Susan Smith Nash recorded findings in a set of field books . This fascinating book contains interconnected poems and prose writings processed from the information she compiled . In his introduction, David Matlin remarks that her work reminds him of William Carlos Willaims's essay on Poe . Nash confronts the spectre of mass extinction . of populations sliding into categories of the surplus . in rich imagery in her poetry and writings . Unique poetic and deeply feeling approach to what is thought by some to be a dry science . " A Paleontologist's Notebook " by Susan Smith Nash . Introduction by David Matlin . Bryan McHugh design . published by Left Hand Books, New York 1995 softcover . *** Securely packed for Safe delivery ~ Shipping safely Worldwide since 1965 *** 6 x 9". Seller Inventory # 6217
Book Description Left Hand Books, 1995. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1880516160