New Depths of Deadpan

Michael C. Gizzi, Author . Burning Deck $14 (72p) ISBN 978-1-886224-96-4

“What if there is nothing special/ about this particular moment,” asks Gizzi in this 15th collection, which, indeed, gathers together surreal fragments of the everyday to show the kind of world that could only appear in poems. Gizzi, a well-respected experimental poet in his own right, is the elder brother of poet and Nation poetry editor Peter Gizzi. As the title suggests, these poems are deeply deadpan. Poems in prose paragraphs and short stanzas pile up clever, grim and ironic statements to describe surreal places or states of mind. While the poems rarely render a narrative, their emotions are crystal clear, as in this description of a common adult longing for the past: “I must spend a night under the enormous rock I associate with childhood.” Elsewhere, what seems like nonsense turns out to be common sense: “A popular corrective to self-focusing/ would be love.” (May)

Reviewed on: 05/18/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
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