With links to intense poetic works like John Berryman’s Dream Songs, Gilbert Sorrentino’s Corrosive Sublimate and Erin Mouré’s Furious, Jon Paul Fiorentino’s new collection is a whip-smart poetic investigation of anxiety in all its many manifestations. Anxiety caused by geography, anxieties of influence and looming worries about loss inform the poems as they weave narrative threads and associations that highlight both the treachery of language and its necessity in shaping human experience: 'All roads, side roads/all text, signage/All seasons, autumn/ all memories, winter.'
The poems here build on Derrida’s ideas about the psychological implications of memory and the archival impulse and on philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce’s semiotics of 'the index.' Indexical Elegies is a rich, emotionally charged work that showcases Fiorentino’s talents at their feisty, engaged best. From its Post-Prairie pamphleteering and its comic Montreal musings to its moving elegies, this is provocative poetry that never loses touch with the reader’s pleasure.