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AN ARCHITECTURE a poem in 56 sections by Chad Sweeney

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AN ARCHITECTURE a poem in 56 sections Chad Sweeney BlazeVOX [books]

 In "AN ARCHITECTURE," Chad Sweeney reveals himself to be a Frank Gehry of language: making an overwhelming but coherent form in precise words that measure "the violet gleam of girders." where "art is/the ghost between us." The world swells with meaning before things "smolder," "collapse," "drown". . . .   And within the violent changes that he so precisely records, there are moments of rest and deep regard for what is passing.   The poem is an elegy for the world in all its beauty and disturbing variety.

--Maxine Chernoff

Chad Sweeney's AN ARCHITECTURE, with its epigraph from Heraklitus (the philosopher of fiery flux), looks like a house that can't stand still, its 56 sections shape-shifting through spaces of meaning that are ‘excavated / rather than built.' Among these magical passages, ‘the nouns are verbs / the conduit between I and I .' Here, house and inhabitant (as form and content) perpetually exchange their positions, showing ‘the snake / swallowing // peristalsis of / the world //   by which these rooms // are constituted.' In Sweeney's swift architecture, memory assumes the power of imagination, and language becomes a platform for the mind's multiplicity: 'I speak, therefore I are.' Sweeney, as Vitruvius before him, makes architecture the sister-discipline of music.

--Andrew Joron

Chad Sweeney's AN ARCHITECTURE gives us a poetry of what is and is not, things stationed and unstationed, as objects and ideas move away from themselves and in doing so, act as we least expect them to—an ice mandolin makes music by melting; a pit appears in the air; fire—that most elemental Heriklitan substance—reads aloud. A lovely extended meditation.

--Gloria Frym



Chad Sweeney edits Parthenon West Review with David Holler and teaches writing in San Francisco, the last seven years with the SF WritersCorps.    He is the author of two full-length poetry collections, An Architecture (BlazeVOX), which was a finalist in the Colorado Prize, and Arranging the Blaze (Anhinga), as well as four chapbooks, most recently A Mirror to Shatter the Hammer (Tarpaulin Sky). With Mojdeh Marashi, he has translated the selected poems of the contemporary Iranian poet H.E. Sayeh.   Sweeney earned a BA in English from the University of Oklahoma (including a year of study abroad in La Paz, Bolivia) and an MFA in poetry from San Francisco State University.   He lives on Potrero Hill with his wife, poet Jennifer K. Sweeney

· Paperback: 75 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] (2008)
· ISBN: 1-934289-04-3


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