Wednesday, October 19, 2005

So I bought two books this evening: Dark Brandon by Brandon Downing and The Cuckoo by Peter Strekfus. I read a couple o' poems in Downing's book, and maybe I behind the times or closed-minded or something, but I'm not sure about it yet. Somebody sell me on this book. I want to get into it.


The Pines said...

Some Thoughts on DARK BRANDON

It took a couple of rounds of completely submitting myself to the book before I felt able to navigate through it with any understanding, and before I felt "included" in its perceptions. I really had to dig into the book as conceptual "cinema studies" in order to get anywhere - not that the language and movement itself weren't incredibly fascinating, inviting, and wildly entertaining, though complex.

I spent a lot of time attempting to decipher the clip-art-like images, and their relation to the poems, as well as the different implications of "dark" and "light." Ultimately, Downing put me to work (which I needed to be put to, afterall, writing a "review" of the book for Octopus).

Everything started to open up once I hit upon what I conceived as Downing's project - and those revelatory moments took place in considering 1. Tom Hanks' "Bachelor Party" and 2. the long-exposure "Theater" photographs of Hiroshi Sugimoto. (Downing himself is a photographer who takes long-exposure color photographs, which I didn't know until recently..). These things, and others, allowed me to read the book within the context of such books as Cole Swenson's "Such Rich Hour" and D.A. Powell's "Cocktails" (filmography section).

Anyway, an initially frustrating book, no doubt, with a really wide-ranging consideration of the lyric - and crazy. I haven't read poems like these anywhere else, and even just thinking about it now, I might start it up again...

Craig Morgan Teicher said...

thanks...that's helpful, gives me a way to go at it. And I was checking your review last night. I'll read it more carefully once I'm more deeply into the book.