Attention Span 2009 – Rodney Koeneke
Kit Robinson | The Messianic Trees: Selected Poems 1976-2003 | Adventures in Poetry | 2009
“When I was a musician’s musician / I used to be a poet’s poet / then a black box” is the story of American poetry, postwar to next war to the one after that, rendered to clean Dolchese. ‘76 daps 2003: “Hey, poetry lovers! / It’s good to see you / here on the page.”
Julian T. Brolaski | A Buck in a Corridor | flynpyntar press | 2008
Saunter Gowanus with enough English in your pocket and it curls to its Middle like this, a new-gender’d Cockaigne “wher no bivalves gurgle at our kushing.”
Norma Cole | Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988-2008 | City Lights | 2009
City Lights brought back to life via “the whole story of the light” set to music of “enormous rotating blades.” Poetry as algebra proving the theorem “that dictionary may be a companion to art but life/is the most sentimental thing there is.”
David Larsen | Names of the Lion | Atticus/Finch | 2009
Truth in advertising: all 500 hundred of Ibn Khalawayh’s names for the lion (“Whose Complaint Sets Others Moving,” “Whose Coat is the Color of Papyrus,” “He Who Looks for Trouble in the Night”) shined and seductively annotated “in the procedural spirit of recent avant-garde tradition.” “If Names of the Lion reads like an elegiac text, it is because we of the twenty-first century mourn the lion’s lost mastery over the earth.”
Barbara Guest | The Collected Poems of Barbara Guest | Wesleyan | 2008
Jupiter no longer so invisibly pulling so many of ‘09’s moons.
Douglas Oliver | Whisper ‘Louise’ | Reality Street | 2005
Louise Michel, “Red Virgin” of the Paris Commune, turned Revolution into paper-mâché and held sick horses in the street. Oliver makes her contradictions a piñata for his own life to fit into, the better to study the candy of our shared political dreams.
Stephanie Young | Picture Palace | ingirumimusnocteetconsumimurigni | 2008
Memoir goes to the movies and comes back as Parker Posey in a script by Yvonne Rainer. “That we could come of age inside another person’s coming of age story, or come to political consciousness inside another person’s coming to political consciousness story, haven’t people been doing that forever?”
Mel Nichols | Catalytic Exteriorization Phenomenon | Edge | 2009
Say it forty times fast and watch “little ships / of sensitive data” leave magic dimes behind everyone’s seats.
Michael Gizzi | New Depths of Deadpan | Burning Deck | 2009
Gizzi’s the Moses of tablets turned to sound, then dropped from the cliffs to hit ‘C’. This new Sinai’s pure Barbasol, all wobble and aloe and swing. When “blessings descend but no one knows how to redeem them,” then “grammar cracks eggs as best it can.”
Brandon Downing | bdown68’s Channel | YouTube | 2009
Disjunction soaked in the world’s B-movies and pulled out as syntax again. Jung never looked so harajuku, subtitles so lyrically green.
David Brazil & Sara Larsen, eds. | Try! Magazine | self-published | 2008-2009
Periplum to a party that would never have Pound as a member. Proof positive that toner and staples can make a Bay Area anywhere.
More Rodney Koeneke here.