"What if there is nothing special/ about this particular moment," asks Gizzi in this 15th collection, which, indeed, gathers together surreal fragments of the everyday to show the kind of world that could only appear in poems. Gizzi, a well-respected experimental poet in his own right, is the elder brother of poet and Nation poetry editor Peter Gizzi. As the title suggests, these poems are deeply deadpan. Poems in prose paragraphs and short stanzas pile up clever, grim and ironic statements to describe surreal places or states of mind. While the poems rarely render a narrative, their emotions are crystal clear, as in this description of a common adult longing for the past: "I must spend a night under the enormous rock I associate with childhood." Elsewhere, what seems like nonsense turns out to be common sense: "A popular corrective to self-focusing/ would be love." (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
New Depths of Deadpanby Michael Gizzi
Poetry. Should the two masks that represent Comedy and Tragedy pass through each other (imagine a total eclipse), might not their overlapping intersection be an expression of deadpan? And what about Janus, that janitor in January? Do his back-to-back facial characteristics suggest anything more than the infinite, noncommittal gaze of beginnings and endings? Or… See more details below
Poetry. Should the two masks that represent Comedy and Tragedy pass through each other (imagine a total eclipse), might not their overlapping intersection be an expression of deadpan? And what about Janus, that janitor in January? Do his back-to-back facial characteristics suggest anything more than the infinite, noncommittal gaze of beginnings and endings? Or does the almost reckless declarativeness of these poems show a mind's weathering both the antic and the intimate, both merriment and distress? Michael Gizzi's previous books include MY TERZA RIMA, CURED IN THE GOING BEBOP, and CONTINENTAL HARMONY, all available from SPD.
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Meet the Author
Michael Gizzi was born in Schenectady, New York. He received his BA and MFA from Brown University, then spent the next decade as a licensed arborist in Southern New England. In the early 1980s he migrated to the Berkshire Hills in western Massachusetts, where he began teaching. For the next twenty years he coordinated many poetry readings and edited lingo magazine and Hard Press (which published, among others, Bernadette Mayer, Merrill Gilfillan, Jim Brodey, and the artist Trevor Winkfield). Back in Rhode Island, Gizzi taught at Brown University where he also coordinated the Downcity Poetry Series and continued publishing, with Craig Watson in Jamestown, RI, the imprint Qua Books. He is currently teaching at Roger Williams University in Bristol and lives in Providence.
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