Hiccups

Joe Pan. Augury (SPD, dist.), $16 trade paper (88p) ISBN 978-0-9887355-4-5
In this satisfying second Autobiomythography collection (after Autobiomythography & Gallery), Pan hits the ground running with brief snapshots of life in the U.S.—and later the world—that hover in the same emotional sphere as haiku. Through Pan's striking cinematography and use of perspective, readers see how "bugs practice shadow puppets/ behind the green leaf" in vivid close-up and experience in panorama the "sad, lived-in silence" of places like Anchorage, Alaska. In terms of autobiography and mythos, Pan hits the clearest notes when reconciling with his own place in time, as in the startling sequence "Nineteen Years After My Nineteenth Year," which opens with a "Mayfly/ in my coffee, stroking/ (goddamnit) down my throat" and closes with the listless observation that "every city is a Seurat/ & no city as well." Along the way, Pan alights on tercets that blend hilarity, apathy, bemusement, and love for his adopted home of N.Y.C. The ambitious final sequence, "NyQuil™ Lucid Fever Lucky Dream Light Emporium," makes optimal use of his tercets while he devilishly blurs the line between dashes and chemical bonds. This clever and fascinating take on organic chemistry makes a perfect closer. Pan's latest presents new rewards with each reading. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/02/2015
Release date: 10/01/2015
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X