by Johannes Goransson on Dec.29, 2010
James wrote this review of Clayton Eshleman’s new book Anticline. I agree with James that this is one of Clayton’s best books. On the whole, I think his poetry has only gotten better and better, especially over the past 10 or so years. Anticline was definitely one of the best books of the year.
Here’s an excerpt from the review:
His political poetry also manages to be personal without being confessional or narcissistic. He doesn’t feel “anxiety” about the rise of free-market capitalism and the reach of the American empire (as if the poor worry if those of us in the first-world middle class feel “anxiety” about them); instead, Eshleman, much like Ariana Reines in The Cow, moves from terror to almost incoherent rage to nightmarish vision. “I acknowledge the American government’s infiltration of my psyche,” he writes in “Consternation I.” “My mental atmosphere has become grainy, hyphenated, / cabbage-odored with seized distractions.”