Some Notes on My Programming

Anselm Berrigan, Editor . Edge $15 (80p) ISBN 978-1-890311-20-9

The salient fact to know on cracking Berrigan's third full-length collection is that he is artistic director of the Poetry Project of St. Mark's Church in New York City, the legendary center where his father, Ted Berrigan, and mother, Alice Notley, were active over two decades beginning in the 1960s. Like his previous collections Integrity & Dramatic Life (1999) and Zero Star Hotel (2002), this book draws on the present tension inherent within that public-private history, but moves resolutely outward into "my liberty's consistent dread." The 30-some-odd poems work in a high velocity idiom that is part New York School talking-from-the-hip, part kitchen-sink-ADD and part "gravitas to besmirch turn a/ chiseled phrase into unstable air in which I delight acuity 'do I want anyone to understand my dream? No. Never.' " Yet almost every poem contains trenchant responses to the current state of war, from "a big fucking crater downtown/ & I am inhaling corpse dust/ at 3:22 pm on West Broadway" to "blood-rich anti-war diction/ looking forward to serving." Continuing to develop his distinct poetic, Berrigan stitches these notes into intense missives to our "psychotic rates of exchange," drawing light and beauty from "our sheathed collateral wreckage." (July)

Reviewed on: 06/26/2006
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Fiction
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