Sweet Nothing

Nate Pritts. Lowbrow Press (www.lowbrowpress.com), $13 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-0-9829553-6-9
In his fifth collection, Pritts strives for a poetry of urgency—”I know there’s something/ I want desperately/ to say/ so I’m saying it”—that never reveals what’s so urgent. Both baroque and irreverent, banal and romantic, his poems hint at what’s at stake when Pritts assembles them into the erratic and formless lines that propel the collection, recalling the rapid-fire lines of Ted Berrigan. This is particularly evident in the sequence called “Sky Poems,” in which Pritts evokes the flashes of meaning that occur in his mind, or, as he puts it, turning “to embrace/ a glimpse of something you’ve imagined.” The flights and whims of Pritts’s imagination hit hardest when he creates a form inside which they can ricochet. “A Sentence” and “Selections from My Morning,” two short recurring sequences, provide Pritts frames from which his mind can depart. In these moments, the poems, having sloughed off their linguistic winks and nods, arrive at a place of vulnerability and sincerity. “I can’t look,” Pritts writes, “at the crisp air of almost evening without/ remembering us walking in similar air.” (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/19/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
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