The Year of the Rooster

The Year of the Rooster

by Noah Gordon
     
 

Poetry. THE YEAR OF THE ROOSTER offers in its title work a kinetic, convulsive, epic poem that explores and explodes through slippery, circumspect pronouns expectations of gender, the authority of artifice, the act of looking, and the action of thought. Is the rooster a trope? Is he a trooper? Maybe he's a she and she's the expectation of masculine bravado he's

Overview


Poetry. THE YEAR OF THE ROOSTER offers in its title work a kinetic, convulsive, epic poem that explores and explodes through slippery, circumspect pronouns expectations of gender, the authority of artifice, the act of looking, and the action of thought. Is the rooster a trope? Is he a trooper? Maybe he's a she and she's the expectation of masculine bravado he's trying to unmask. Part action painting, part abstract estrangement, part enactment of the artist's uncertainty about all things art, the weird world of this poem is forever in flux, off-kilter, unanswerable. Planting bullets in the flowerbed of the sonnet, "Diminishing Returns" and "Returning Diminishments," two extended, meditative yet humorous suites, bookend the title poem.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Exuberant, sometimes chaotic, and often disturbing, the latest from the prolific poet and critic (The Source) spackles its up-to-date dream-visions, semi-sonnets, and wild postmodern announcements with the older legacy of surrealism. Part one arranges 14 long-lined poems in order of decreasing length, from sonnet size to monostich: the poems can seem lyrical and yet quite hard to summarize, obsessed by their own difficulty in finding a subject—"pinned/ to transparent paper, sentimental as an anecdote driven by self-deification,/ the empire of systematically expressed thought dusts its lilies." Part three reverses the process, zooming out from one line to 14. In between is a big free verse se-quence, with a new line shape almost every page, that gives voice to the eponymous Rooster, some-times a vaunted prophet, sometimes a risible spirit of machismo: "Internationality picks up/ after itself little pieces of Rooster-thought." Gordon, or his Rooster, can circumnavigate self-hatred, "My wonderful ideas, horrible statues sulking in the lazy afternoon"; he can revel in disarray or strive to go slower, "spinning & weaving in extreme fragility/ a dialectic of emergence." The volume testifies again to Gordon's powers of invention, and might please admirers of Michael Robbins, or of much older surrealists (say, David Gascoyne); it might not, however, serve as the best introduction to Gordon's expanding body of work. (May)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781934103401
Publisher:
Ahsahta Press
Publication date:
05/01/2013
Pages:
124
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author


Noah Eli Gordon is the co-publisher of Letter Machine Editions, an editor for The Volta, and an assistant professor in the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he currently directs Subito Press. His recent books include THE YEAR OF THE ROOSTER (Ahsahta Press, 2013), THE SOURCE (Futurepoem Books, 2011), and Novel Pictorial Noise (Harper Perennial, 2007). His essays, reviews, creative nonfiction, criticism, and poetry appear widely, including journals such as Bookforum, Seneca Review, Boston Review, FENCE, HAMBONE, and in the anthologies Postmodern American Poetry (W. W. Norton & Co., 2013), A Broken Thing: Poets on the Line (University of Iowa Press, 2011), Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing (Northwestern University Press, 2011), Poets on Teaching (University of Iowa Press, 2010), and Burning Interiors: David Shapiro's Poetry and Poetics (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2007). An advocate of small press culture, he penned a column for five years on chapbooks for Rain Taxi Review of Books, ran Braincase Press, and was a founding editor of the little magazine Baffling Combustions. He lives in Denver with Sommer Browning and their daughter, Georgia.

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