The Crows Were Laughing in Their Trees

Peter Conners, White Pine (SPD, dist.), $16 trade paper (96p) ISBN 978-1-935210-20-7
Fractured fairy tales, intellectual animals ("spider monkeys of tiny rebellion"), Kafka-derived anti-parables, and bracingly fast run-on sentences—somewhere between a mystical incantation and a nervous breakdown—come thick and fast in Conners's powerful new book of prose poems. In one tale of archetypes behaving badly, "Father delivers the woman's enemy to her doorstep while Mother makes a list of betrayals while Sister's mind is populated by the ghosts of wallflowers." Elsewhere, Conners offers a sweet love story, a set of rants, a handful of paragraphs that evoke archeology as well as political change and "repeating patterns sunk into the concave surface of the rock of the Mesoamerican Poets of the Zapotec of the Maya in Veracruz in my backyard." Conners (most recently author of The White Hand Society, a study of the friendship between Timothy Leary and Allen Ginsberg) presents no view of the cosmos nor a consistent outlook in these robust sentences—more like a set of lenses or takes on a dangerous, passion-soaked world, a world that will surely stick in the mind. Prose poems, very short fiction, hard-to-classify compact meditations are enjoying some time in the sun now, and Conners's new pages approach the best in the lot. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 12/20/2010
Release date: 03/01/2011
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