The intimacy of the index

Listening notes on 'Concordance'

Above: portion of ‘Concordance’ LP cover art. Image courtesy of Drag City.

I love to be outside as night falls. Whenever I can, I mark the transition from day to night by walking through quickly darkening streets and peeping into the neighboring houses. My neighbors and I may have nothing in common beyond the fact that the light of day is fading for us all, but when I pass by their uncurtained windows I leave traces; a wake of moving air, the sound of a footstep, or the impression of a familiar face to someone invisible to me. There is an intimacy to this repeated, glancing attention. As I stalk the last licks of light, I am sutured into the lives lived behind the windows I pass. 


A swirling life dance

A review of Mark Young, 'Songs to Come for the Salamander'

Mark Young is a poet drawn to prodigious production as much as he is to the idiosyncrasies of living creatures. Songs to Come for the Salamander: Poems 2013–2021 represents a near-decade’s worth of poems, picking up roughly from where Pelican Dreaming: Poems 1959–2008 left off.[1

Forever is nothing

On Montgomery and Armantrout

Will Montgomery’s succinct study Short Form American Poetry: The Modernist Tradition is one of those texts that, in a quiet way, shake up a whole topic. Among its main gifts are repeated reminders — subliminal rather than overt — of just what an unlikely and unprecedented development the “short-form” poem really was and how odd it is that it should have become a particularly American phenomenon.

Telltale misadventure

A review of Steven Seidenberg's 'Anon'

Photo of Steven Seidenberg (right) courtesy of Seidenberg.

Steven Seidenberg’s Anon is a textual mountebank — a term that Seidenberg defines in the collection’s lavish glossary as “a person hawker of quack medicines in public places, attracting an audience by tricks, storytelling, and jokes.”[1] It’s not common for poetry collections to have their own glossaries — and even less common for them to feature words that don’t appear anywhere in the text.

Minds of winter

A review of 'Dead Winter' by Matvei Yankelevich

Photo of Matvei Yankelevich (right) courtesy of Yankelevich.

Dead Winter (along with Matvei Yankelevich’s chapbook From A Winter Notebook) has been culled from a long project whose intention Yankelevich writes, is “to reassemble winter’s / memory.”[1] This description is both tantalizing and ambiguous.