Pregrets

Anselm Berrigan.. Black Square, $20 (104p) ISBN 978-1-73632-480-6
Berrigan's dynamic and unusual latest (after Something for Everybody) offers a smattering of wit and playful language in poems devoid of punctuation that riff on observations and ideas, musically building one detail into the next. Here, images are juxtaposed in delightful and odd ways, the titles playing on the word regrets. These poems feature curious constructions such as "driftwood nanobots," "flaming boogers," "orgiastic instacore hemorrhaging," and "imaginary dingleberries." Yet woven throughout are moments of astounding clarity and awareness: "Sorry about that," Berrigan writes in "Regrets," "I lack many life/ skills." While in "Egrets," he asserts, "we're very, very good at fucking up," and, in "Degrets," "it's very hard to retrain your listening." He opines, "if society is truly breaking down, it's not/happening fast enough." These moments flicker in the joyous and hypertextual riffraff of Berrigan's work, finding moments of lucidity in the noise that his poems enact. Through it all, Berrigan writes from a "permanent wound's perimeter" with a kind of mystical truth. These pages conjure the dizzy excess of modern life, engaging and challenging the reader with their ideas. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 08/14/2021
Release date: 06/01/2021
Genre: Poetry
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