Aaron Shurin. City Lights (Consortium, dist.), $10.95 trade paper (96p) ISBN 978-0-87286-520-4
The title of Shurin’s 11th collection sets up expectations of direct political engagement by the 60-odd short, tightly composed, and finally constrained-in-scope prose pieces that compose it. Here’s how “My Democracy” begins: “Where do you look and how do you look? Architects in doorways—bombshells of cryptic shrubbery—to catch a ripple and go Delphic...” The poem is pleasantly Ashberian in its obscure semicritique of consumer society. Later, “Then” begins “Once we were in the loop... slick with information and the luster of good timing. We folded our clothes,” goes on to imagine “platinum clocks sweeping in arcs from left to right,” and ends, “Our clothing was spectacular and fit to a T. We admired each other with ferocity.” Shurin, a well-respected West Coast poet, is the author of Unbound: A Book of AIDS (1997). This book may not be that one’s equal, but it suggests no diminishment of Shurin’s capabilities. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/2011
Release date: 12/01/2011
Open Ebook - 88 pages - 978-0-87286-560-0
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