Music or Honesty

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Poetry. "Rod Smith is submodernism's first genius. In his wild and amazing poems, honesty is music, listen"-Peter Gizzi. "MUSIC OR HONESTY will remind you of just how powerful the pleasures of the tongue are and how invigorating a succession of historical moments can be"-Bob Perelman. Rod Smith is the author of PROTECTIVE IMMEDIACY, IN MEMORY OF MY THEORIES, and THE GOOD HOUSE. He edits the journal AERIAL and publishes EDGE BOOKS. He teaches Cultural Studies at Towson ...
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Overview


Poetry. "Rod Smith is submodernism's first genius. In his wild and amazing poems, honesty is music, listen"-Peter Gizzi. "MUSIC OR HONESTY will remind you of just how powerful the pleasures of the tongue are and how invigorating a succession of historical moments can be"-Bob Perelman. Rod Smith is the author of PROTECTIVE IMMEDIACY, IN MEMORY OF MY THEORIES, and THE GOOD HOUSE. He edits the journal AERIAL and publishes EDGE BOOKS. He teaches Cultural Studies at Towson University in Maryland.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As in his In Memory of My Theories (1996) and Protective Immediacy (1999), Smith's stand-up verse theorizing channels the absurd and the sublime in this third collection-or perhaps turns the absurd into the sublime, forcing a microtonal collapse of both categories. It's a style one associates with Kevin Davies, or John Ashbery's first books after The Tennis Court Oath in which he begins to use a mellifluous line but lets the waves break on recalcitrant, often acidly hilarious yokings of disparate strands of culture: "the regulars at the bar/ are thrashing Thomas Merton/ with checkerboard bathescopes/ & babblin about nondiscursive/ crap. I am a Times reporter./ I kill people." Along with a number of longer works, "Autopsy Turvy," is an indeterminate but still strikingly satiric excursus on the dark whims of testosterone-driven government ("the sportive hucksters are carping/ to the gunshop retirees in the gold dawn"), one of many funny, frightening and provocative political moments in the book. At their best, Smith's poems shuttle line-by-line between what the poet "means" and a kind of chance: how the poet grabs onto what swims across his ken and places it, wholesale, into a poem. The result is a unique collage aesthetic mated with the discovery narrative of the mind, a daily improvisation dependent on the tools at hand-"an unequal regret & looky-here-structured summer months cropfed distingues koalabies"-some of the most useful of which are unreason, distraction, humor, piety, not to mention music and honesty. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931824071
  • Publisher: Roof Books
  • Publication date: 6/28/2003
  • Pages: 94
  • Product dimensions: 57.50 (w) x 87.50 (h) x 2.50 (d)

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