Rue Wilson Monday: Poems

Anselm Hollo, Author La Alameda Press $14 (80p) ISBN 978-1-888809-22-0
Gathering work from 24 mostly small-press collections, Notes is the Finnish-American Hollo's first selected volume in nearly 25 years. Hollo speaks, writes and translates in or from at least four different languages, and has moved gradually over the years from a spare, wit-based lyrical style toward more angular, often slyly political speech and casual humor: ""a copacetic evening/ watching the latest military techn / wipe out poverty in the world/ in its most obvious form, the poor."" The plethora of poems here, arranged chronologically and containing a quietly expanding sense of uncertainty for the fate of the species, have a range that belie Hollo's relative lack of fame and his predilection for writing in modestly short or serial forms as he does brilliantly in Rue. Dedicated to ""The School of Continuation"" and written during a five-month stay in a small French town outside of Paris, Rue is a crackling, wickedly lyrical sonnet sequence hurtling 21st-century noun logjams across the bows of cubist poetic structures. Taking tonal cues from several oft-cited contemporaries (Ed Dorn, Ted Berrigan) while speaking directly out of the open-ended sensibilities of present-day poetic transformation, the book extends the arena of poetic eavesdropping out into the world at large: ""breeze through the grand accordion of frames/ watch reflections flounce/ prattling selves, quavered ecliptics/ sink into head's reanimated folds."" Hollo has been associated with just about every subdivision of and outgrowth from the New American Poetry, but has remained defiantly unclassifiable. These collections will no doubt resonate with longtime Hollo readers, but both have the observational charm and unpretentious wit to win a deservedly larger audience with Rue being the ideal book for first-timers. (June 1)
Reviewed on: 01/03/2000
Release date: 12/01/2000
Genre: Fiction
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