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James Richardson. Copper Canyon (Consortium, dist.), $16 trade paper ($128p) ISBN 978-1-556594-33-5
“I am tired now, tired of the expertise/ that says there is nothing new,/ no thought or feelings not already words,” Richardson (By the Numbers) writes in a collection replete with wry wit and transcendental insight. Demonstrating vigilance, vulnerability, and humility, Richardson keeps to his now well-established pattern of interspersing poems and aphorisms, typically with the former offering implicit wisdom and the latter explicit, together creating just enough analytical work for the reader while reinforcing ideas in simple terms. His poems have emotional narratives that guide the reader through the subjects of death, love, and solitude in ways that simultaneously warm and unnerve (“This is what the dead must see: their own houses/ miles off on dark hills, small as sparks”). Richardson instills wonder and pause in the reader by uncovering the soul or core of an idea, an object, or a phenomenon (“slow-thoughted trees have understood/ that there is a house among them”). His aphorisms are largely delightful and sagacious (“My heart leaps, running for the stick/ you never threw”), and nearly all are effervescent. Quick moving and full of curiosity, Richardson’s work offers a thorough study of beauty, relationships, and experience distilled to timelessness. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/18/2016
Release date: 01/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 128 pages - 978-1-61932-153-3
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