Microreview Monday

Dear Ra
Johannes Goransson
Starcherone, 2008

The flinches of Dear Ra consist of confessions, cautions, and insincere apologies. "If the ship is sinking don't make love to the rats." Like Burroughs without the slamming boys, it's a constantly-changing party line. It's "a Haiku about Bang-Bang-Ugh." Too many poems these days are really surrealist novels in hiding; it's nice to see one that comes into the clear. [John Cotter]




My W/hole Aesthetic
Matthew Henriksen
Cannibal Books, 2008

In this 7-page lyric manifesto, Henriksen oscillates, with equal parts wisdom and contempt, between negative capability—poet as receptacle—and positive capability—poet as God. He writes: “This cavity of forgiveness (a lie) / and love (a lie we make into birds): Sparrow! Irony makes the / stilled wings flutter with my heartbeat!” With his signature rawness and beauty, Henriksen reminds us of the most primitive struggles and pleasures of poetry. [Chris Tonelli]