The World in Place of Itself

Overview

With fervent physical and metaphysical detail, and narrating from an unexpected angle of perception, Bill Rasmovicz plumbs the world ghosting this one, exposing the true nature of the unconscious—a superconscious whose language is startlingly apt imagery and ecstatic description.

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Overview

With fervent physical and metaphysical detail, and narrating from an unexpected angle of perception, Bill Rasmovicz plumbs the world ghosting this one, exposing the true nature of the unconscious—a superconscious whose language is startlingly apt imagery and ecstatic description.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Incredibly moving and smart, this book is indeed a world in place of itself, and more, in place of the world we thought we knew. With stunning metaphors, fast-paced leaps and tone shifts within a seamless art, we discover new ways of seeing at almost every line, a palimpsest of visions in every poem of this fabulous book.”—Richard Jackson

"Bill Rasmovicz gives us the world in fine detail. City life, shoreline, night, loss and its shadow, desire—these come to us through an intelligence fully attuned to metaphor’s striking shifts from sight to insight. This is lyric poetry at its best, fully accomplished, probing, deeply felt, with delicate wit and language—oh the language!—stunning enough to pass Miss Dickinson’s test."—Betsy Sholl

"The clear intensity of the visionary requires stillness, not high speeds. And there is a restlessness at the heart of such stillness that Bill Rasmovicz’s first book gets at more exquisitely—with a voice that can bear it—than any I’ve read in years. His surreal practices are humanizing faith-keepings with the metamorphic, the elemental, the actual."—William Olsen

Publishers Weekly

This passionate debut from New York City-based Rasmovicz places him on an unfamiliar border, between the haunted generalities of Franz Wright and the hunted, bomb-damaged villages of Charles Simic. Rasmovicz's Polish heritage provides the collection's deep background; many poems depict the towns and fields of a wartime dream-state Eastern Europe-"fear thumping the air like a fog light." Many of these poems find portents in crows, who represent both the history of warfare and the menace of our own personal deaths. "What tethers us to consciousness?" Rasmovicz asks, as if he would prefer never to have known. His scary landscapes, with their rivers, "looted tabernacle," and "perfume/ ...of a neighborhood burning," suggest a poet who cannot separate the tumult of political conflict from the "half-light of heavy overcast" in his own soul. Sometimes he lands too close to Simic, though he lacks (by far) the older poet's reserve. Rasmovicz is rarely a subtle, and often a melodramatic, writer ("desire continues/ hauling the broken cello of its body forward"). His music does not innovate-lines break on the phrase, some poems sound like speeches. And yet his images are vivid, the night of his soul dark on the page. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781882295647
  • Publisher: Alice James Books
  • Publication date: 9/1/2007
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Rasmovicz is a graduate of the MFA writing program at Vermont College and Temple University School of Pharmacy. His poetry has appeared in Mid-American Review, Nimrod, Hunger Mountain, Third Coast, and other magazines. He lives in New York City.

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Read an Excerpt

From “On Becoming Light”:

And there it was, the moth;
a child’s hand wrestling itself in the grass.
Delirious, it fumbled its way out from the dark umbrella
of a tree, then landed on the stoop.

A frayed rope of light swung from the porch.
The moon was gorged on the dewy foment of summer.

I set my hand near, and it fluttered into my palm:
its weight no more than breath, its wings,
laments hammered into sheets of dust.

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