Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Preen Alert!

I was about to post my latest "Relished List" update when a Peep directed me to a review of my Dredging for Atlantis. Wow (hey dear publisher Mark, I didn't even bribe the dude). I love this so much I'm posting it in full below. (Is this why SPD's been clamoring for more books to restock their inventory?):

Last but not least, Thank you Jeffrey! Now, you enjoy, too my Pretty Miscalculations:


Eileen Tabios, Dredging for Atlantis
(Otoliths, 2006)

by Jeffrey Cyphers Wright

Imagine the poet as a diver exploring oceans of ancient texts, extracting gems, polishing and resetting them. In her 11th book, Eileen Tabios refers to ekphrasis, or speaking out in a dramatic way about a work of art. She chose “The Last Lunar Baedekar” by Mina Loy, to scumble and work over to create her own startling and original poems. Sleek and economic, they glitter with unexpected imagery and musicality in an atmosphere charged by crinoline and cufflinks, grace and salvation.

“Minor Riddle” (an apposite title) is avant and high-toned and flirts with academe. Yet the ensuing freedom and consequent surprises are compelling and reveal an interior logic unbeholden to straight-up narrative. Embedded in the backdrop of Florence is this joyous one-line stanza: “Minarets growing within muddy whirlpools.”

In “White as Grecian Marble” the poet creates a shiny column of couplets, a classic pastoral. “A trolley loaded/with ivory busts//glides against air/overtaken by snow//beyond this crocheted lace of white dandelions//and one orchid// recalling its youthful orgies.”

Wow! Sappho meets the Objectivisits! Ivory, snow, crocheted lace and white dandelions line up perfectly. And echoing orchid with orgies—the last line is all punch.

Jack Kerouac wrote, “Vision is deception.” Eileen Tabios’ version goes like this: “Go forth and prettily miscalculate.”

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