cover image The Dihedrons Gazelle-Dihedrals Zoom

The Dihedrons Gazelle-Dihedrals Zoom

Leslie Scalapino, Post-Apollo (SPD, dist.), $29 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-0-942996-72-2

Scalapino, who died this past May, two months before her 66th birthday, is often clubbed together with her Bay Area Language Poet peers, and the designation is certainly not wrong. But it is beginning to be clear that Scalapino is one of the great Zen poets of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, one who reinvents the relations of poetry and practice with effortless movements of mind, sense, and sound in each book. This collection is the companion volume to Floats Horse-Floats or Horse Flows, published earlier this year. Written in prose, it has a complex "plot," which finds the diverse conflagration of "human-like creatures" from the title pivoting around the recent terrorist attack on Mumbai. Illustrations from artists Kiki Smith and Jess are interspersed, in a scene where "Day begins anywhere." The whole has a Bladerunner-ish quality to it, with avatars multiplying and "base runners" populating the "emerald dark." While Way (1988) remains the place to start with Scalapino's work, and posthumously prepared manuscripts are sure to see publication, this collection pulses with life and Scalapino's unmistakable voice. (Dec.)