cover image In Brazen Fontanelle Aflame

In Brazen Fontanelle Aflame

Ted Rees. Timeless, Infinite Light, $20 trade paper (136p) ISBN 978-1-937421-28-1

Rees confronts the ubiquitous destruction that pervades the vulnerable world as a consequence of humankind’s sophomoric, pompous negligence and cruelty in his cerebral, if convoluted, debut. Bursting with a renegade’s rage, Rees blends anticapitalist and antidiscriminatory sentiment into a lyrical stream of consciousness that congeals in a sort of hybrid queer, ecopoetic, intertextual manifesto. His ambitious hodgepodge of style and subject, combined with a refusal to economize his language, tends to result in a lack of fluidity and semantic clarity. Although largely euphonious, Rees’s lexicon (“the body on the ground is felt, and ricochets back and forth/ in time for the viewer’s limbic duration, whereupon it is inherited,/ multi-generational accomplices foregoing staid patterns”) and wordplay (“Forget bears resemblance to skin against bare mattress”) can feel labored, ostensibly for the sake of sonic pleasures but ironically resulting in discord. Nevertheless, Rees’s images are often visceral and incisive, as when he characterizes addiction: “The dream of taciturn veins moves down alleys./ May bad ends rule this state.” Though his lack of restraint and coherence may alienate some readers, Rees proves to be a courageous, erudite, and perceptive language artist. [em](July) [/em]