Kluge: a Meditation, and Other Works

Brian Kim Stefans, Author . Roof $13.95 (126p) ISBN 978-1-931824-24-8

Stefans (Fashionable Nose ) remains the most radically experimental of poets who began publishing in the late 1990s, a fact these seven beautiful new longer works affirm. Most immediately arresting is the title piece, set in three sections of 12 blocks of justified text. As the reader proceeds from block to block, an aching first-person address repeats almost verbatim, but with subtle—and sometimes not so subtle, and often very funny—homophonic or semantic substitutions, which then alter the unfolding story's course precipitously. “Where Stones Gather” is a play featuring a character named Kate Valk (who was played in a New York production by acclaimed New York theater actress Kate Valk), who is directed to nod into a telephone repeatedly. “Sehnsucht” consists, at least partially, of blenderized reconfigurings of Stefans's own early poems, and promises to “disinte/ grate you with/ a ray-gun, or/ Reaganomics.” “Two Introductory Essays” enumerate on the techniques of electronic writing (of which Stefans is at the forefront). Stefans works almost feverishly to fulfill Pound's dictum to “make it new,” and sees clearly that satire, even of poetic forms themselves, “is the preserver much more than the destroyer—a list of the dotted lines you've not yet signed.” (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 09/17/2007
Release date: 01/01/2007
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