Avalanche

Quincy Troupe, Author, Jose Bedia, Illustrator, Josc) Bedia, Illustrator Coffee House Press $19.95 (128p) ISBN 978-1-56689-045-8
Troupe heaves a cold, smacking ""rush of objects"" down an American mountainside of dreams and injustices. A respected chronicler of the lives of James Baldwin and Miles Davis and the son of a prominent Negro league catcher, Troupe (Snake-Back Solos) is an innovator of form and tone who shifts quickly from a lofty, elegiac mode into burlesque or smoky, jazzed-down pop phraseology. He plays on history, ""riffin' on in full of rain & pain/ spacin' on in on a sound/ like coltrane."" But Troupe also registers history's price, as in repeated images of an old man--both perpetrator and victim--""holding his age tight as two opaque roses/ in cataracted eyes."" Troupe is still at his best when he indulges in deep, obsessive curves into music: ""caaa-rack// the assonance of sound breaking from ground/ breaking away from itself & found in the bounding syllables of snow/ moving now."" He writes with unchecked expression, redundant and inclusive. If it were any more laden, Avalanche would be inchoate. Any less would be our loss. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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