Friday, August 06, 2010

"love that picks its own inversions, its sweet pushmi-pullu": a review of Servants of Dust:


My chapbook, Servants of Dust--published by derek beaulieu's No Press (see his brand spanking new website)--was reviewed/discussed by Vanessa Place over at The Constant Critic.

Here's part of what she wrote:

"Gary Barwin’s Servants of Dust is a collection of the punctuation of Sonnets 1 through 20, rendered spatially (oh, Mallarm√©!), so that Sonnet 18 (“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”) becomes:
18
inverted commaquestion mark
colon
comma
inverted commacolon
comma
inverted comma semicolon
colon
inverted commainverted comma semicolon
semicolon
inverted commacomma
colon
comma
period
And in that way, one can see the play of punctuation across the page, fitting like the darling buds of May, or any buds, for that matter, Sonnet 2 being particularly dashing, though full of caught breaths, while Sonnet 20 is more dense, love’s own woolen thicket, pudding-proof of the rush and pause and interpolations that is not only love, but is love that picks its own inversions, its sweet pushmi-pullu."

[Note that the weird little light grey boxes aren't there in the original chapbook or in Vanessa's discussion, but exist here as visual testament to my ineptitude with blogger and HTML.]

Some more discussion--and reviews of Volume One (Selected Anonymous Marginalia) Liam Agrani (ed.) (BlazeVOX Books); and Autobiography: Volume One (1975-1993), © Ryan M. Haley (Ugly Duckling Presse)--are at the blog.

Earlier on the blog, there's also a discussion of Rachel Zolf's Neighbour Procedure (Coach House) which I haven't yet got a hold of, but am anticipating greatly as I am a great admirer of her work. The section Shoot and Weep which was published as a chapbook by Nomados was fantastic.

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