Saturday, March 17, 2007

Goldbarth and Goodman

What a fascinating new and selected. Ever the iconoclast, instead of the usual regurgitation of a handful of poems from each of his previous books chronologically, Goldbarth has chosen to mix and match poems according to themes: "The Gods," "American Days," "This Thing Larger Than Itself," etc. He also has a section for those of us with short attention spans: "The Rising Place for the Dough," which is selected poems of under a page in length (which brevity, for those of you who read Goldbarth know, is not his usual mode).
The Kitchen Sink is a wild roller-coaster ride of a read. Goldbarth's mind sees far and wide, and he tends to build poems by accretion (rather than by deletion). So they really do pile in everything, including the title's alluded to porcelain drain-bowl (Don't you just love the cover image?).
In his bio at the end of the book, the last line reads: "He could have gone to med school — what was he thinking?" Hahaha.

PS: there is a nifty interview with Goldbarth, by our own Richard Siken, about Goldbarth's collection of early 20th Century space and robot ephemera. It's on the Poetry Foundation site.

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Also reading Brent Goodman's two chapbooks, Trees Are the Slowest Rivers and Wrong Horoscope, which won the 1999 Frank O'Hara Chapbook Competition. Brent is a damn good poet. I especially have liked "Retinal" "Fire at Psychic Camp . . ." "A Voice Caught in a Tree" "Garlic" "Duck and Cover" "Wrong Horoscope" "The Museum of Famous Outerwear." Strong images, philosophizing, and humor to boot. I hear there are only a few copies of each left.