Compulsive Words

Overview


Poetry. "Reading the poems in COMPULSIVE WORDS is like taking a hard drug."—Aaron Kiely

"Michael Ruby's new book is experienced as a kind of sotto voce diction, an unrelenting mumbling in the back of the mind, which takes two very different forms: as a graphic representation of voices (words presented in diagrammatic patterns), and as what might be 'transcriptions' of those diagrams and patterns: 'O paper placement machines/Blue ladder to family problems' or 'Somnabulist prows to leaven/Healthy escarole.' Or ...

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Overview


Poetry. "Reading the poems in COMPULSIVE WORDS is like taking a hard drug."—Aaron Kiely

"Michael Ruby's new book is experienced as a kind of sotto voce diction, an unrelenting mumbling in the back of the mind, which takes two very different forms: as a graphic representation of voices (words presented in diagrammatic patterns), and as what might be 'transcriptions' of those diagrams and patterns: 'O paper placement machines/Blue ladder to family problems' or 'Somnabulist prows to leaven/Healthy escarole.' Or perhaps the diagrams are transcriptions of the other texts: the tense dialectic between these two poles is one of the things that makes this book well worth contemplating."—John M. Bennett

On January 29, 1999, my older brother was near death in a Boston hospital after emergency surgery for a blood clot in the abdomen. As I sat near the phone in Brooklyn that morning, trying to type up an old manuscript, it suddenly occurred to me that I was experiencing an extreme emotion, dread, and that I should see which words this extreme emotion displaced in my mind. While writing the poem "Dread," I perceived certain words repeatedly appearing, forcing themselves on me, taking over the poem. From then on, during composition, I noticed the appearance of these "compulsive words," which I first collected in the poem COMPULSIVE WORDS in 2000, and whose number has continued to grow ever since.—Michael Ruby

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935402824
  • Publisher: BlazeVox Books
  • Publication date: 3/9/2010
  • Pages: 104

Meet the Author


Michael Ruby is the author of five full-length poetry books: AT AN INTERSECTION (Alef Books, 2002); three from BlazeVOX [books], WINDOW ON THE CITY (2006), THE EDGE OF THE UNDERWORLD (2010), and COMPULSIVE WORDS (2010); and AMERICAN SONGBOOK (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2013). His trilogy, MEMORIES, DREAMS, AND INNER VOICES (Station Hill Press, 2012), includes Fleeting Memories, a UDP web-book. He is also the author of two chapbooks, The Star-Spangled Banner (Dusie, 2011) and Close Your Eyes (Dusie, 2013), and the editor of Washtenaw County Jail and Other Writings by David Herfort (Xlibris, 2005). A graduate of Harvard College and Brown University's writing program, he lives in Brooklyn and works as an editor at The Wall Street Journal.
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