On the Material

On the Material

by Stephen Collis


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On the Material by Stephen Collis

Structured in three parts, On the Material is a meditation on language, geography, socioeconomics and the body, moving from the glut of fossil-fuelled consumer excess to the materiality of a single book.

The long poem "4*4" navigates issues of space and movement in the global age. As economies crumble, ecosystems fail, and peak oil approaches, Collis records the production of a disarticulation of social discourse that our consumer society has generated: "After all we made money out of matter here / Now condos shield us from the computer hum / Of on-line trading and wars flash on flat screens / As 4*4s cool and ping mud covered in double garages."

In its second section, "I Fought the Lyric and the Lyric Won," the poet's desire to express wins out over the desire to possess. Beauty, contemplation and human communication seem to have abandoned the world, and their absence from the everyday has re-engaged Collis' struggle with language-has left him with a need to reinvent human discourse and its attendant relations.

The book's closing section, "Gail's Books," is a resonantly beautiful sequence of poems in memory of the poet's sister, Gail Tulloch.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780889226326
Publisher: Talonbooks, Limited
Publication date: 04/15/2010
Edition description: 1
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Stephen Collis
Stephen Collis is the author of four books of poetry, Mine (New Star 2001), Anarchive (New Star 2005), which was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, The Commons (Talonbooks 2008)—the latter two forming parts of the on-going “Barricades Project”—and On the Material (Talonbooks 2010).

Table of Contents

I Fought the Lyric and the Lyric Won

The End of Flight 63

Aristaeus Mourning the Loss of His Bees 65

The History of Plastic 72

Self-Portrait in a Corvette's Mirror 80

Poem Beginning with the Title of a Cy Twombly Painting 82

Gail's Books

Introduction 88

Rain 90

Pollen 94

Variations and Translations from Rilke's Book of Hours 103

Never to Be Possible Said or Sung 109

On the Material 124

Notes 127

Acknowledgements 128

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