Outlying Districts

Anselm Hollo, Author Coffee House Press $8.95 (112p) ISBN 978-0-918273-76-5
In these alternately humorous and hard-hitting poems about life, death, politics and poetry, Hollo ( Pick Up the House ) addresses such issues as nuclear war, ``massive man-made pollution'' and the fate of the universe. With his signature penchant for irony and impiety, the poet revels in an eccentric play of language to reveal the absurdities of the contemporary world and presumably shock the reader out of complacency: ``the bang / will follow the flash / yes nukes / have indeed led to a worldwide upsurge / of mad religiosity / don't you think blink think.'' Hollo's sometimes exaggerated and heavy-handed flippancy is offset by an understated romanticism and overriding sense of nostalgia most evident in his numerous love poems: ``I feel remarkably cheerful / (considering) / because it is your birthday today / & we are quite clearly afloat / in the uncharted archipelago of Being-Here.'' Such a curious balance of cynicism and sentiment makes this collection satisfyingly unpredictable and provocative. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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