Ian Hatcher. Poor Claudia (SPD, dist.), $17.50 trade paper (158p) ISBN 978-0-9908324-4-7
Influenced by the arts of computer programming, sound, and performance, Hatcher's visually arresting debut collection amalgamates coding's symbols, spatial modulations, and innate experimentation. Broken syntax and recombined phonemes create poems akin to test patterns, Boolean chains, or binary output advancing in a lockstep that can feel both glib and alarming. The work is keenly attuned to a discomfiting postmodern societal surfeit of attachments and detachments, particularly the transfer points in both human and mechanized relationships. In this "post-false true false world, world," polyvocal connections occur across infinite channels but are frequently unhinged from history or mortality: "its myth instant pure human is increasingly apparatus something is metacommentary." Hatcher is a sort of Max Headroom of poetry, extruding a perplexing stream of language that is by turns alien and familiar, as seen in such lines as "trust inviolate always inviable/ producing ever-accelerating vitals && redialing/ patent high-frequency recombination/ patent strangulation." Occasionally, this language functions as a maximal aloofness shield—manifest destiny riding off into the Internet's surveillance sunset—but this could also be attributed to an acute perception of our flattened conflation of products and relationships, of notoriety and anonymity. In Hatcher's digitized visions, the sun melts beautifully into an Ouroboros breakdown—not a dissipation, but a sonic dissolve into an digital sea of "the all-new post-new." The book has an "audio twin" available to stream or download. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 09/05/2016
Release date: 03/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
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