Our Nuclear Heritage

James Sherry, Author Sun & Moon $10.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55713-126-3
If you want politics with your poetry, this is the book for you--politics not as subject but as a process, highlighting ``language mechanism'' rather than content. Sherry ( Popular Fiction ) is a member in good standing of the Language Poets, who contend that language itself is complicitous in the schemings of capitalist culture. The conspiracy-mongering in these short prose poems has its hysterical moments (``The idea of a native meter of American speech is an effort to co-opt and freeze the way people speak''), and the language itself, for all the author's brash intentions to save it from ``the ruling classes,'' seems as if a neutron bomb has visited--no signs of life, only structures. There is a loose narrative here--Graceland, a ``displaced underwriter of short-term paper,'' and Carpaccio, a ``hazardous-waste disposer,'' make random appearances in a post-nuclear holocaust landscape--yet one senses there is little but contempt for the reader in these half-hearted concessions to storytelling. Because this is perhaps the most intricate statement yet from the theoretical far left in American poetry, its inability to mount a persuasive argument may well signal that movement's long-rumored death. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Genre: Fiction
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