City of Corners

City of Corners

by John Godfrey
     
 

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“While others are busy catching their own reflection in the storefront of poetry, [John] Godfrey goes to work on the damage and squalor of the overlooked. His genius rings true.”—Peter Gizzi

With an enemy
like daylight who needs
the psychology dime
Hips do the work
and I cross the world

A longtime

Overview

“While others are busy catching their own reflection in the storefront of poetry, [John] Godfrey goes to work on the damage and squalor of the overlooked. His genius rings true.”—Peter Gizzi

With an enemy
like daylight who needs
the psychology dime
Hips do the work
and I cross the world

A longtime resident of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, John Godfrey works as a registered nurse in New York City, where he cares for homebound AIDS patients in Brooklyn and Queens. City of Corners is his sixth collection of poetry.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Godfrey's jumpy, sometimes disjointed poems belong to an exciting recent tradition: they describe day-to-day, block-to-block, moment-to-moment life in the downtown Bohemia of New York, as Ted Berrigan (among others) did in the 1960s and 1970s. In short lines and disconnected phrases, Godfrey considers the ups and downs of sexual attraction ("Wind tunnels as sun lowers/ Hard nipples in B cups") and the ever-changing cityscapes he sees ("Drop you at the A train/ Droplets baffle headlights/ World shares lightlessness with me"). Godfrey (who works as a nurse for homebound AIDS patients) puts together poems that seem more lyrical and unified with repeated readings, though still close to unpremeditated speech: "Restlessness," he says, "is a sort of payment/ for all the moments that fail to transport," and restlessness seems to Godfrey (Private Lemonade) desirable in itself, even the basis of his art. He sounds best when authentically ecstatic, or when giving terse advice: "Suggest rather than decide/ Don't trust depictions of life." This eighth book should please readers who yearn to see the newest results of Berrigan's downtown aesthetic, or who simply enjoy Godfrey's earnest, distractable, willingly unpolished approach. (Aug.)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933517322
Publisher:
Wave Books
Publication date:
08/01/2008
Pages:
95

Meet the Author


John Godfrey was born in northernmost New York State in 1945. While an undergraduate at Princeton University he began publishing poems in mimeo-mags on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where he lives to this day. Currently he works with homebound AIDS patients in Brooklyn and Queens.

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