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 The hip thing these days is to be a poet and write fiction. It is not the hip thing these days to be a fiction writer and write poetry. The former brings possible public reward and greater numbers of readers; the latter brings no public reward and notice but by a few. That is the surface reason this book of poetry--a single dark, weird, shattering poem, really--by the singular fiction writer Chuck Richardson might trigger curiosity and attention. Even as its title fairly announces a refusal to hope for what the poem, given the rules and odds of the current game, will almost certainly not receive. Within the noise and clutter of the present situation, where, how, does a poem with no expectation or desire of reward fit in the frame of familiar poetic motive and need? That the poem is written out of such a question (and negative capability) is another, deeper reason it might trigger curiosity and attention. If not now, then perhaps when readers now unborn are reading... Perhaps. But even then probably not. Because the unborn, to poach from Richardson the poet, torque their cerebral tombs to tacitly melt the dreams of all poetry beams. Which were always the real bones of fiction, anyway.

—Kent Johnson

From the invocative opener of “Chant Divine Syrup,” onward through the “Ussing” of his “Emergent Satori,” the “Ash heaps smoldering / with refugees” that characterize Chuck Richardson’s Poem for the Unborn strike me as a needed addition to the American poetic milieu. Armed with the postmodern novelist’s sensitivity to “social speech types” and metanarrative (& Sade, Celine and Acker), Richardson manages to unearth and make striking, with an unrelenting parataxis and lethal dose of poem parody, an “alien optimism” of “Hubris,” nostering away in the quietude of his Love Hut. This devotional nihilism is a strange, beautiful and horrifying, all around frolicking work of a singular poetic instinct. Welcome Chuck Richardson’s debut in the form.

—Jared Schickling

Book Information:

· Paperback: 166 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-237-2



POEM for the UNBORN by Chuck Richardson Book Preview

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