Myles on Peter Richards, Massman on Dear Ra

by on Jan.03, 2012

Some new reviews.

Here’s an excerpt of Eileen Myles’ piece on Peter Richards’ Helsinki:

Peter’s poem is a note from long ago which is now. Already happened fast. I mean he probably constructed these poems by a familiar pastiche method yet that’s almost suggesting that vocabulary or taste doesn’t trump method all the time. Pastiche is simply what we do and Peter’s cryptic and erotic sample is elegant and adventurous and small in a way that is alternately perverse, smiley and generally looking up. If there is a narrator here he is a gentleman, that is a choice. I would say he generally feels gay but not decorative. In his hands the homoerotic option feels expansive rather than opportunistic. Peter’s pallet is rich.

I like Myles’ reading style – associative and personal.

Here’s an excerpt of Gordon Massman’s review of my books Dear Ra and Entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate:

I like writing which gives me barbed wire and rashes. I do not like poetry which gives me sunshine and dilation. Dear Ra is just a heart-pounding high-pitched ceremony by a man gone ballistic, and it’s wonderful to read. I wonder, in fact, where Goransson can go from here, from this bravura cathartic performance. It seems he can only fly apart like a too-torqued machine, cogs, sprockets, and springs flying outward like brain matter. After linking in one breath a double gendered human, Tom Hanks, and prisoners of war; or pigeons, tennis rackets, nails, asthma, pigs, bees, and orifices; or leaking highways, barbed wire, and rashes in a great psychological bacchanal one wonders what could be next for this writer.

4 comments for this entry:
  1. adam strauss

    I recently read a Dear Ra excerpt from Typo 4 and liked it: engaging mix of (not sure this is apt) almost narrative/diary–getting gingerale!–and tons of word-play–like style a la Tao Lin (in an hour I’m not sure I’ll agree with this notion: TL is for sure very very different) crossing a H Mullen inflected continent. Word play can easily majorly undercut any narrative sense so I find it interesting/nifty that this doesn’t totally occur.

    Happy New Years to everyone!

  2. adam strauss

    I love that Massman writes this–“Goransson’s astonishing virtuosity plays all the keys on the literary keyboard”–and that it’s clear this statement is by no means at odds with wildness; this is the only review in memory for me which does not cast virtuosity as old-hat and instead suggests that it may be a vector for wildness. Hurrah!

  3. Johannes

    Adam,
    I agree mostly with what you say. I tend to oppose “virtuosity” because of the aesthetic it tends to connote – and likewise because my own writing and the writing of a lot of writers I like (Joyelle, Lara etc) tend to be disregarded as mere anarchic formlessness, when in fact it’s very formful in its own way. I think “form” tends to act he same way – it tends to connote aligience to a certain conservative aesthetic. I tend to think of form as a possession that drives the writer toward “wildness.”

    Maybe the style is a little like Tao’s, though I did write this in 2000, when Tao had hardly been born… I think the Tao-isms came probably from Amy Lingafelter, a poet I went to grad school with who had an O’Hara-Tao-Gurlesque style that I was very much drawn to at the time.

    Johannes

  4. adam strauss

    Oh I don’t intend to draw a direct relation twixt you and Tao–I just wrote that because he excells at making what seems like a narrative out of seemingly small events which reminded me of the gingerale story. Yes, form as possession, as a wonderful current which drags the writing wherever and into deeps and dells, copses and caves. Wild form: Stein, Finnegan’s Wake, Vallejo! Anyone at/within/around Montevidayo read Karen Volkman’s Nomina?