Twenties

Jackson Maclow, Author, Jackson Mac Low, Author Roof Books $8.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-937804-42-1
Composer John Cage's oft-quoted praise of Mac Low's ( Bloomsday ) work--``even though it looks like poetry, it is poetry''--captures the essence of an avant-gardism of which Cage himself is very much a part. But language is not a medium for which the public will suffer the random and intuitive compositional methods that characterize Cage's work in music. Still, Mac Low presses on, and continues to write poems like no one else. This volume consists of 100 poems written ``intuitively and spontaneously'' during 1989 and 1990, says the poet in the preface. His work remains inscrutable to the last, at least if one looks for the marks of authorial speech: ``People zip it runcible figure it lipid coat / glue boscage reek / feet announce Moog premise close / totalize a folk quote sneaker'' is a randomly selected but representative stanza. What Mac Low provides is an aesthetic space where language gambols about free and unencumbered, but in which the reader nonetheless might discover that ``the whole slide connects / fistic it positivist rambling / not necessary classic content / sweat feature miscreant''--and wonder where meanings really are born. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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