La Far

Eric Linsker. Univ. of Iowa, $19 trade paper (98p) ISBN 978-1-60938-241-4
Linsker's Iowa Poetry Prize-winning debut is best absorbed as a shimmering sound-scape, something alien, shifting as to be just out of reach: "What happens after the universe/ is it becomes more pixilated." The poems are light on punctuation, but move with rhythms and repetitions that conform to their own mysterious rules. "We're So Social Now" catalogues a chant-like breakdown of language into gibberish, evocative of brain-numbing YouTube comments or viral blog posts. Linsker's poems examine the world's movement, language and identity in the internet era with a craft that is original and unnerving. "The day flashed," he writes in "Hope Mountain," then, "The prior generation/ too much of flesh,/ which wanted repetition/ of love, not its outcry." Linsker brings to mind the endless streams of social media, dating sites, sex sites, and blogs that give us the opportunity for an identity without a physical body, something immortal, that makes it difficult to maintain an individual presence: "The sand covers more. Its/ availability, false graininess,/ covers moreā€”is washed more away." And if our identities are now bobbing on this virtual sea or the meadow that Linsker constantly returns to, what happens to the concept of death? "That was/ Another time even the underworld changes." (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/28/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 115 pages - 978-1-60938-253-7
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