Saturday, April 28, 2007
got a goodly chance to read Tom Beckett's books yestreen. Erin had to arrive early and while he and Beth were putting together costume and makeup, Allen was left with his book. it appears Tom collected chaps together, at any rate the sections are thematic and weave together over all. one notes a doggedness in the work, effort in the sense of concentration. which carries several applicable senses. Tom boils his work down, or pares it. it is rarely discursive or expansive. the 1st series of poems centres on a conceit of the zombie. the poems essentially define zombie, this idea belonging to Tom. the effect of reading the many poems about zombie produces a wider area of concern. wider, that is, than one expects as one begins to read. the sexuality that Tom manifests arises as an active force on language, not simply a bodily function. and of the imagination, I should add. what seem like observant dollops expand into a much wider territory. so zombie begins as an idea, a way to start a poem, a conceit, but the iterations and Tom's unblinking gaze push thru the boundaries of clauses into a much larger thing, made thing. thus the poem is in fact the series, and as I read, I will see that the series all, together, make a poem. Tom's interviews seem so perfectly a companion volume that I should always carry them together. the interviews, not all done by Tom, stay on message as regards poetry and process. the book makes the translation from online to print because it has life as a handbook. what is a handbook? one to carry with. inveterate dog walker here, so I like to have books that can be consulted in moments. to touch that energy. Olson's grandest implement for me was and remains the energy transfer. I feel the same sort of heat in these interviews. I get ideas how others have proceeded, thus maybe how I can. I reiterate that a writing class could do worse than use this book as a tool for discussion if not inspiration. so there are my beginnings with Tom Beckett's two wonderful new books. I hope you try your own path.