10 may. 2005
Rarely have I had the experience of picking up a book, by someone I had never heard of before (a rare event in and of itself), and knowing, just from the way THE PAGES SMELLED, that I was in the presence of true poetic greatness. This olfactory perception is, in these exceptional cases, 100% accurate, and makes the actual reading of the book somewhat otiose. A book that smells so complexly *American,* of lavender and uncured tobacco leaves, subtly modulated with baking soda, owl excrement, india ink, vanilla, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, ammonia, and the sweat of Tibetan monks, could not possibly fail to please the other senses as well. All of this, needless to say, while maintaining a complete artistic independence from the world of NATURE to which these rigorous aromas only SEEM to refer. It could be safely said that no other American poet of recent years, with the possible exception of myself of course, has such a highly developed poetic NOSE. Not even I have gone so far in the direction of olfactory "literalism." The anthologies of the future will have to find a way to preserve this "redolence" in a medium that, up until know, has privileged retrograde notions of "resonance" and visual "acuity."