"I am an idealistic, naive, passionate, truth-seeking, spiritually motivated artist, unschooled in the science of law and finance." --Wesley Snipes

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I really like what Chris Vitiello is trying to do in his new book Irresponsibility.

Do I like it? I think so. I mean, this work is in many ways close to the sort of thing I envisioned back in the New Sincerity days.

The preoccupation with process, the "writing as subject" focus here raises a few issues that I hope to get to soon enough. For the meantime, I'll just say that it's a brave book.

G.E. Patterson's latest, also from Ahsahta, I want to like a LOT more than I do. Preliminary remarks, to be sure, but I'm looking for something concrete to attach myself to, and well, he keeps references vague enough so as to alienate this reader. The "schtick" here would work better if he kept his quotations not only pithy but meaningful. As far as I can tell, dude may be a really good poet, but the only thing that really informs his work here is the rather obvious detail that he really seems to dig on Brenda Hillman.


Addendum: I really dig on BH too. Her book Loose Sugar is about 95% responsible for my identity as a "poet." That said, Patterson's quotations don't do much here, aside from making me want to read, well, Brenda Hillman. Oh yeah--I don't pay taxes either. You go, girlfriend!

1 comment:

Jenn said...

That's twelve kinds of bizarre, because I took a class Chris Vitiello taught at Duke University's Young Writers Camp when I was fifteen (his advice to us: fake your wedding for your parents). Between that and your uncovering the real meaning of 'she being brand,' my entire formative poetry-education-ten-years-ago is somehow crammed into this singular blog entry. My brain is blowing up!

Sorry if this comes suddenly, but I couldn't let this coincidence pass.