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Richard Tayson's essay "the volcano sequence as Fragmentary, Postmodern (and Yes, Feminist) Text" appears in Everywoman Her Own Theology: On the Poetry of Alicia Ostriker.  Part of the Under Discussion series from the University of Michigan Press, the book is edited by Martha Nell Smith and Julia R. Enszer and includes contributions by Toi Derricotte, Marilyn Hacker, Joan Larkin, and others.

 

 My essay,  "Language Sideways:  The Poetry of Addiction"  is up at TheFix.com, the world's premier website about addiction and recovery.  The essay delves into three debut books of poems from Sam Sax, William Brewer and Kaveh Akbar.  “There, the mind doesn’t explain. It doesn’t offer delusion or false comfort. Yet it comforts, perhaps because open space is public space that has the potential to welcome us all. In its meaninglessness, it aspires to greater meaning, the way, say, our parks and canyons and monuments are open to everyone.”   

My essay, "Language Sideways:  The Poetry of Addiction" is up at TheFix.com, the world's premier website about addiction and recovery.  The essay delves into three debut books of poems from Sam Sax, William Brewer and Kaveh Akbar.  “There, the mind doesn’t explain. It doesn’t offer delusion or false comfort. Yet it comforts, perhaps because open space is public space that has the potential to welcome us all. In its meaninglessness, it aspires to greater meaning, the way, say, our parks and canyons and monuments are open to everyone.”

 

  THE LAMENTATIONS COLLECTOR

THE LAMENTATIONS COLLECTOR

Tayson has finished a manuscript of poems, The Lamentations Collector.  Written in a 100-day period, the thirty-eight poems have nine distinct speakers.  Beneath the millennial sun, Pandora puts down her burden and finds shade in which to languish.  As she does so, the eye of a drunk glances her way, spies a record box reminiscent of the one he owned as a boy.  He sweats over in the heat and takes the box from the trash heap beside her.  Inside are the records of his childhood, and when he opens the box, out fly a multitude of voices.  Carole King and James Taylor argue about something they’ve seen happen in a boy’s room from their respective album covers.  Diana Ross's prison shoes (Lady Sings the Blues) and Carly Simon's blue blouse (cover of No Secrets) speak about the body.  The owner of the records—deceased from toxic shock—speaks from the dead, and a relic of time past, the high-fi record player, has the book's last word.  Written in an experimental style that allows for the inclusion of contradictory voices and multiple visual forms, the poems revel in language, sound, and the ambiguities of the post-millennial world.

 

 Patti Smith (Jay Dee Daugherty in background) performing at the Bowery Ballroom.

Patti Smith (Jay Dee Daugherty in background) performing at the Bowery Ballroom.

Richard Tayson is completing Alternate Means of Transport:  Chance Encounters with Seven Famous Women (Carly Simon, Roberta Flack, Joni Mitchell, Suzanne Vega, Liza Minnelli, Rickie Lee Jones, and Patti Smith).