The American West of our imaginations, back in the day. Back in the days of cowboys and gold rushes, San Fran brothels and deadly coal mines, horse thieves and mountain men. The American West of our rather limited imaginations, if we grew up with a certain kind of preset range of ideas, photos, movies, stories and dreams in our heads; which, of course, to one degree or another, means pretty much all of us.
In Julie Otsuka’s beautiful novel, The Buddha in the Attic, the narrator is a crowd, an us, a swarm of voices we want to listen to, because it’s truly an Everyone, and the voice is a poem. She speaks for them, as them, as a people, and as individual women who once shared a voyage from Japan to America as mail-order brides soon after WWI. There are shocks and surprises, radical disappointments and disillusionment along the way, but Otsuka’s incantatory prose moves us and moves the book swiftly forward, even though we want to dwell with this new “we” longer.… |To be Continued “How to Form a “We””
Review of Alan Gilbert, Late in the Antenna Fields
The writing in Alan Gilbert’s volume of poetry, Late in the Antenna Fields (Futurepoem Books, 2011), feasts on sarcasm and dispirited bitterness, not to mention a certain snagging anomie. Putting it better or worse, the reader might think to assimilate it to some kind of art adhesion. One is led, or profited, to hear, and to sense and to pick at, a general vaguely petulant and vaguely disinterested and yet persistent patter of ambient petrified displeasure. There is thus less of a danger than a foregone captation in this approach, inherently. … |To be Continued “New Poetry Review, by Robert Mueller”