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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

85. Toner

This book by Ron Silliman (Potes & Poets Press, 1992) and autographed by the author is divided into symmetrical 7 line stanzas over 67 pages, with three stanzas per page. It has blurbs by Kathy Acker, Kevin Killian, David Melnick, Jerome McGann, and Hank Lazer, on the back cover. Then, on the first page, another blurb by McGann, and others by Jed Rasula, Nancy Scott, Barrett Watten, and Keith Tuma. It is part of the Alphabet, Ron's long series. This would be volume T.

I read it at one sitting. The punctuation disappears after a while, then there is a long section in ALL CAPS, then it's back to no caps, no punctuation, and then the punctuation appears again.

It is a diary of a sort, a series of semi-disconnected fragments of observation--again, like much of Ron's work of the 90s. This is not my favorite of his, though his characteristic wit shines through.

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