Pieces O' Six

Jackson Mac Low, Author, Jackson Mac Low, Author, Anne Tardos, Illustrator Sun & Moon $11.95 (188p) ISBN 978-1-55713-060-0
Mac Low ( Bloomsday ), America's most indefatigable experimental poet, has rigorously explored aspects of language production that many others have ignored--most particularly, the identity of language when the organizing principle of the self is removed. This collection, though it looks like prose and appears to be rendered in a conventional discursive voice, is neither. There is a clarity and homeliness of expression here not found in Mac Low's chance-generated writings; but the import of these works is in their subversion of the expository form. For example, a studious meditation on the act of writing--``The hand begins to move across the page, leaving an irregularly interrupted trail of spiky or convoluted figures''--results in a bemused rejection of such self-consciousness. Although playing with conventional essayistic forms finds the poet discussing the Dalkon Shield and U.S. forces in Central America, he never wanders far from the phenomenon of language and its relation to self: ``Wait on the sidelines and wonder why no message was considered such a virtue. The mind wanders and one calls it the heart. The heart beats and language explodes in polysemy.'' (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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