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Disparate Magnets by Nico Vassilakis

Price: $16.00

Disparate Magnets Nico Vassilakis BlazeVOX [books]

 Nico Vassilakis has written a book of major importance and multiple delights. He has done nothing less than reinvent poetry and the act of writing. In his own words, he has the “ability to crack open hidden language” and in so doing create and recreate the physical presence of what he writes in the reader. If he is “immersed in language, pearls loosened from the branches,” he knows all about life, too. His book contains passages of playfulness, humor, and great beauty, as well as provocative reflections on – among other things – what language can and can't do. He is at once a sage and a child as he views the world and makes it ours once again:

                  That moment before naming the

                  Object you remember the object

                  Its function then recall what it's called and

                  So childlike joy at meeting something completely new.

Harry Mathews

A first-rate concrete and visual poet, Nico Vassilakis long has been also an unconventional meditative and lyric poet. Never has that side of his work been more inventively displayed than in Disparate Magnets. The poem sequences gathered here show us that the best makers are also always thinkers. How do we know when there is there and what is there? What do our own perceptions want of us and how do they make use of us? Sound and music, numbers and geometry, problems of process and destination are only some of the key obsessions of these poems, often bluntly angular in their rhythms and always originally angled in their perspectives. Vassilakis' fascination with the physical has long been as theoretically rigorous as it has been down and dirty and low budget in its materials, and Disparate Magnets finds him thinking about, around, and through some of the most tenacious problems of object-making and meaning-making.
Mark Wallace

Disparate Magnets presents the scintillating variables of time and its complex philosophical relationship with experiential space. Your guide is the inimitable Nico Vassilakis who cajoles, beckons and posits. The coordinates are pulsations of music, staccato intensities—syntax is unraveled in each set. Morton Feldman floats through this work as the simultaneities build. I feel the glee of ontological recognition reading his book. Vassilakis gestures an ethics of freedom while living resiliently in an incongruous gravitational field contending with the terms of power, ideology and disparity. This circumambulation is one not to miss.
Brenda Iijima

A greatest hits is contrary to the flowers gathered here.  For Nico Vassilakis, the alignment of poems "never gains perfection."  The provocation here is against perfection, against conclusions that precede process.  "Prepared music is an arrogance..." 

Testing the waters after Text Loses Time , Vassilakis is intent on losing no more time.  Disparate Magnets exposes the reader to emotive currents.  We're subject to the push and pull of sound that initiates or marks thought.  " ideas, but ideas.  That go nowhere.  Racing there | To get there. And if it works we go together."   Vassilakis follows the lesson of Morton Feldman to "let the music do what it wants to do."   Following sound, he's like an extrovert who inverts what the eye reports.  He sets things quickly, embracing sound in the correlation -- as it happens.  Hardwired to mouth, tongue and vocal chord, Vassilakis's proprioceptive verse submerges the body and if we follow, we find ourselves downstream, emerging in new places.
Robert Mittenthal

“Morton F.” by Nico Vassilakis is a verbal duet between the poet and the words of Morton Feldman.  Vassilakis uses Feldman's words playfully, with alacrity and with courage. Both Feldman and the poet are walking a tightrope created by the formal simplicity of Post-Minimalism. 

With grace and balance we are transported to a world where “emptiness without fear” can exist. It is both Feldman and not Feldman. Vassilakis' connects to the images and ideas of Feldman with a slight of hand, mystical and magical approach.

His own words describe this journey: “penetrating and exiting the moment, by duplicating the moment, into a longer, larger event.” This, Vassilakis does, and more, in “Morton F.”    

We are drawn into the flow of words, images and ideas, a virtuosity of connections and variations. It has an intensity that dazzles us. Both colorful and sensitive, “Morton F.” never steps out of character and never disappoints. We are reassured by Feldman and Vassilakis.  It is the meeting of two minds that appears inevitable.

Bunita Marcus 

Book Information:

· Paperback: 71 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· ISBN: 9781935402237

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Nico Vassilakis is both a textual and visual poet. He is a curator for the Subtext Reading Series . His visual poetry and videos have been shown at exhibits and festivals of innovative language art. He co-wrote and performed a one-man play about the experimental composer Morton Feldman. Nico lives in Seattle where he works for Fantagraphics Books. His girlfriend and their two boys are trying to get him to bring pygmy goats into the house. Protracted Type, a collection of his visual poetry, will be out later in 2009.



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