On Generation & Corruption: Poems - Poets Out Loud (Paperback)Terrence Chiusano (author)
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Composed of several distinct yet inter-woven long poems, On Generation & Corruption is structured around the conceits of location and dislocation, as it deconstructs a picture-postcard American town. Its title is a clue: in printer's terms, each "generation" reproduced is more "corrupt" than the last. Through this metaphor, Chiusano alludes to the distance from confessional speech that the book embodies in its complex tales and Escher-like syntax.
Bog. Spillway. River bank. Cow shit. Shade pools. Boot prints.
Tadpoles. Reed beds. Shallows. Eddies. Snags. Cottonmouths. Cobwebs.
The stare stares behind-the-back, bright, between butt-crack and
thigh. The stare widens into a paddle, wide and flat enough to make a
draft when it flaps. The stare picks its nose. The stare halfway wonders
why the closet door is only half-closed.
* * *
When ecstasy is parted from its practice, when rapture is forced to
choose, that's me: the first efforts, independent principalities.
If I draw a hand, say, or a foot, I tow it into view. If I name, a slender
ankle, a napping neck, I pull it like a dove out of a derby, pigeon out of a
Publisher: Fordham University Press
Number of pages: 108
Weight: 249 g
Dimensions: 229 x 203 x 13 mm
"`Explorative,' `meta-narrative,' all such designations are too tame for describing the brainy and bold manner in which Terrence Chiusano's On Generation & Corruption presides over the disruption of `the clinical completeness of the daily briefing, the dull dit-dot-dash of a poetry-making telegraph...' Discursive, formally inventive, endlessly sharp-witted, and gorgeously written, [this] is one of the freshest and most unorthodox books (let alone first books) I have read in a very long time." -- -Lynn Emanuel * University of Pittsburgh *
"Philosophy always ends in a `halo of fact.' That is why its findings are neither eternal nor sufficient, and its ceaseless agenda is the leitmotif of Terrence Chiusano's On Generation & Corruption. Taking off from Aristotle, but also Robert Creeley and Vladimir Nabokov, Chiusano proceeds to define a precinct especially for his materials. Lyric distillation is Chiusano's `gloomy grip' (he has it like no other), and he uses it to structure an esoteric monument. But it's not esoteric as it happens-again, like philosophy, you read merely because you exist and may yet belong to something called `civilization,' and you need to figure it out, too. And suddenly: mystery solved. Brilliant." -- -Patrick Durgin
"Chiusano gives us deft story-telling that gives hints of horror within scenes of the ordinary and the aesthetic, testing how we read both landscapes and language. On Generation & Corruption plays with orders, patterns, and modes of distinction, playfully moving between the miniature and major, field and street, foreground and background, parable and spin. Combining a sensual lyricism with philosophical edge, the sustained, layered performance and dazzling stunt-work of this collection confirm Chiusano as a stand-out poet to watch and listen to today." -- -Ann Vickery
"Ten years ago I wrote of Mr. Chiusano that he is `almost frighteningly good,' and here, in his first full-length book, the fear factor has only flowered. His is a world of familiar shapes rendered strange by unspeakable events offstage, a country where the intimate processes of nature and gender turn raw in late afternoon sun. Had he written only the luscious, Edward Goreyesque `Abecedary,' his name would live forever in poetic history. And yet there is much more to On Generation & Corruption than its set-pieces. A compelling volume, rich with chills and fever." -- -Kevin Killian
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