9 ago. 2005

First Book of Poetry. by Bright Young Thing. Berkeley. MOFO Press, 2005. 66 pp. $14.95

These poems have appeared in Alaska Review, Alabama Review, Review of Alabama Farms, Are We There Yet?, Fenceposts, Incunabuli, Squid, Imprecations, Poetry Midwest, Poetry Mideast, Poetry Northsouth, Coastal Review, Tidepowers, Imaginary Qualities of Real Things, Colorado Quarterly, The New Jerseyan, Umph, California Review, California Poetry Review, California Quarterly, California Quarterly Review, California and elsewhere. In fact, there is no journal where these poems have not appeared. If I had one criticism of this otherwise fresh and vibrant voice it would be that it is not fresh and vibrant at all. It all seems rather "generic." The undigested Ashbery influence evident on pages 1, 5, 6, 9, 10, 14, 17, 18, 25, 33, 44, 50, and 60. The jokes that don't quite work on pages 2, 7, 8, 10, 15, 30, 44, and 66. The forced alliteration on pages 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 44, and 55. The cliché on page 7. Yet it seems churlish to criticize the work of a poet who is likely to be the next Cole Swensen.

In fact, there is a blurb on the back from Swensen herself, along with others by John Ashbery, Robert Creeley, Fanny Howe, Susan Howe, Susan Stewart, Marjorie Perloff, Bunny Berrigan, Miguel Hernández, Gilbert Sorrentino, Paul Auster, John Ashbery, Georges Perec, Morton Feldman, David Antin, John Ashbery, Samuel Beckett, Meghan Cleary, Mark Ford, Gary Snyder, Stephen Reich, Larry Rivers, Antonio Gamoneda, Harry Mathews, Anne Lauterbach, Richard Rorty, Joe Montana, Elmore Leonard, Stephen King, John Koethe, Franz Wright, Mary Jo Bang, Bob Perelman, C. Dale Young, Robin Blaser, Ornette Coleman, Steve Benson, Nick Piombino, Joe Morelli, Julio Cortázar, John Ashbery, Elvin Jones, Nada Gordon, Lyn Hejinian, Stephen Sondheim, Shadow Wilson, Lorenz Hart, John Asbhery, Jack Derrière, Judith Butler, and John Ash--not to mention John Ashbery.

4 comentarios:

Jordan dijo...

Squid! are they connected to "Two Squid," a fine early 90s magazine...

JWG dijo...

Obviously, you've stolen this information from my book. And, the "Asbhery" quote is not a fake. He really did say, "JWG's poetry is like a hawk looking to eat yr petty-cured toes."

Jonathan dijo...

yes, Asbhery is often confused with the better-known poetry Ashbery.

C. Dale dijo...

What can I say? I felt obliged to blurb the book. I mean Bright Young Thing is just so freakin' HOT!
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"This is one of the best books of this sort I have read in years."

--C. Dale Young