Tan Lin, Author . Atelos $12.95 (325p) ISBN 978-1-891190-18-6

The author of the acidly neo-dada Lotion Bullwhip Giraffe (Sun & Moon 1996) here offers a poetry that is, on the one hand, designed to be "very very easy and relaxing at the synaptic level," and on the other, works as a mammoth study of the "lateral" page break—forcing a line of poetry, often in the middle of a word, across the gutter of a verso-recto spread. Lin's concept of "Ambient Stylistics" (explored by Brian Kim Stefans in his recent "A Poem of Attitudes" from Fashionable Noise ) here gets exhaustive treatment, with the book's Brownian motion allowing everything from "Byzantine legs" to "A halo" that "barks an allusion to water." After a few pages, one gets the feel that what shows up in the work probably correlates directly to whatever the poet happened to see at that moment, on the Web, out the window, or within his rather detached emotional registry, and that the work is boring on purpose. In a book where one might spend a few minutes contemplating how "photos" become "hotos" or how "data points do not p" gets extended by "lay off each other," Warholian boredom makes the book's rather ordinary formal properties stand out more starkly (or soothingly). Probably the most ironic take on stoner aesthetics ever imagined and put into print, this book lazily flips the bird to poetry, mainstream and avant-garde alike, in favor of "The local-grow of nothing-slow.... A hallway of po-po." (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/23/2004
Release date: 11/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
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