Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Clayton Eshleman (again)

I've written about Clayton Eshleman before, arguing that he's doing his best work right now. Perhaps the best evidence is the new book "An Alchemist With One Eye On Fire" from Black Widow (which I have also written about). Among other pieces, this collection includes a series of powerful poems about Iraq. These pieces are collage of Bush-speak, eye witness accounts, opinionating about art, autobiographical confession and Eshleman's very own mythopoetic visions. He actually sent me these before so I'd read them before the book came out, but it's still good to see them out in a book.

Here's a section from "One If By Land, None If By Void" (riffing off a letter by Duncan):

Chances are I'm a Minotaur surrogate,
weaving, at night, an arachnoid adept who jigs about a cordate void,
an anomalous void, orbicular labyrinth.
Chances are, I behead upon being impregnated,
nourishing the just conceived with my brain marrow lunch.
Chances are, I spin-say to myself:
mental war takes place on husk-strewn thread



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