homemade traps for new world Brians By Evan Willner
|homemade traps for new world Brians||Evan Willner||BlazeVOX [books]|
These are poems for our new millennium. Evan Willner explores the state, or rather the states, we are in, with fifty poems of remarkable linguistic power. These little “traps” or contraptions of 145 syllables each, take up big issues of our time—the challenge of seeing the self from the angle of the cell; the mechanization of bodies and minds; the violence that accompanies and defeats our procreative urge—and turns them into units of poetic energy. Enjambments, apostrophes, interrogatives pull us in. Words squeeze, ooze, protrude and collide like the mind-body entities, those brains and brain-emissions they describe. The poems wreak havoc on everyday language and associations in order to regenerate them. And if they shock us and amuse us by turns, they always please.
Bonnie Costello, author of Shifting Ground: Reinventing Landscape in Modern American Poetry and Marianne Moore: Imaginary Possessions.
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Evan Willner reinvisions fifty states as fifty poems that each have the flinty, hard logic and formal density of stone slabs—stele or gravestones—or of teeth. And yet, the language within these poems is palpable and mysterious and alive, the connection between words and things skew in all sorts of right ways that end up making everything seem to be wriggling and formicating on the same level of consciousness: next time you look at nature, don’t be surprised if it gives you a come-hither look back. A must read for all Brians.
Brian Evenson, author of The Open Curtain and The Wavering Knife: Stories.
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Strange things are going on in the dark woods, and Evan Willner has noted them all down – tree trunks, sticks, bones, rocks, jerky turning neighbors, cereal ding dongs and diapers and odd flying things – noted them down in grammatically elegant sentences that marry complex literary processes with the muddy matter of our world and turn them into – bingo! – poetry.
John Tranter, author of Urban Myths: 210 Poems: New and Selected and The Floor of Heaven and editor of Jacket magazine.
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Relentless and pessimistic, Evan Willner’s poems track the blurry line between metaphor and metastasis, exploring the dark underside of creativity with intellectual rigor and dark humor. Part phenomenology and part phrenology – these poems constantly “rak[e] [their] hands” along the world’s surfaces to find its “packed dumb families” – homemade traps for new world Brians explores the ethical dilemmas inherent in the act of creation. The drama of these poems exists at an almost cellular level – each homunculus a new rejection of the synthesis of subject and object, each poem straining against its formal limitations. Willner’s work is difficult, metamorphic, offering itself as an answer to the philosophical questions it poses. Why, in the end, do we create life or art? “So, we can,/when birds flap and bubble, believe that it’s us they mean.”
Spencer Short, author of tremolo. Winner of the National Poetry Series award.
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Scary, abrasive, absorbing poems. Like outer planets orbiting what were once sonnets, and with a syntax that at times seems to be a differential science.
Aaron Fogel, author of The Printer’s Error.
· Paperback: 66 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· ISBN: 1-934289-44-2