A Perfect Time

Richard Jones, Author Copper Canyon Press $12 (96p) ISBN 978-1-55659-068-9
Jones (At Last We Enter Paradise) writes long, meditative poems that are less tranquil than they appear at first glance. Although his tone is quiet and his progress seems measured, he can change direction in midstream-narratively, dramatically-with an unassuming skillfulness. Some of the writer's understated swings of direction clarify two poles he often travels between: romanticism and realism. In the best poems, his discreetly emotional journeys gather force and authenticity from mundane particulars: ``the bee-stings'' of a woman's lipstick on a man's face; the ``bones of herons hanging in branches'' that form an aerial cemetery. As one passes through poem after poem, a reader comes to trust Jones's narrator in an almost novelistic sense, and to expect from him a serene rivulet of thought. A few distractions intervene along the way: Jones's illustrative details are sometimes too general to convince, and there are times when the current of his thought seems submissively slight. But there is a lot to listen to here. Jones teaches at DePaul University. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/03/1994
Release date: 01/01/1994
Genre: Fiction
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