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The Little Door Slides Back (National Poetry Series #85)

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  62 ratings  ·  11 reviews
But then, from way off, with cranking
comes my night, and when it arrives
I go to it like a callboy to a c-note.
--"My Interior"

"Jeff Clark's poems . . . marry the stoned reveries of our postmodern era with the symbolist bliss of a previous one . . . In meticulously crafted verse and prose poems, The Little Door Slides Back offers the reader glimpses of a shadow world, seen b
Paperback, 112 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published March 1st 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 95)
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Hai-Dang Phan
Some books ought to come with soundtracks. For Jeff Clark's The Little Door Slides Back, I would have recorded the eerie deafening noise, the sharp metallic scream of the BART as it careened with its human cargo through the Transbay Tube heading toward SF from Berkeley, where I was going when I began reading these "Lunar Tercets":

Things are not as we would have them be.
The moon is not a yellow sow
hung from a meat hook

on a drab shed wall: it is a moon.
Ashes do nothing
while we sleep: they are tree
C. Carrier
It's been years since I read this book and I still can't articulate how it killed.
Kevin Lawrence
I wanted to like this book more but I just don't -- there is something very mannered and predictable in its American surrealist mode (especially being of a very francophilia flavor.) Eventually I'll need to figure out for myself why American surrealist poetry usually bores me but surrealist filmmakers like Guy Maddin or most of David Lynch fascinates me (yes, I realize Maddin is Canadian but he's really a nymphomaniac so we can claim him.)
This book feels like the book of the unhealthy relationship, or the toxic speaker, even though there are times when it just feels like the speaker is misunderstood. I like the book for the unusual motives it elaborates on. I like the book because it feels to me all these poems eventually lead to an impression of "Jeff Clark," the guy who's written the book. And I believe I'm being led to "Jeff Clark" because of the central poem "Some Information About Twenty-Three Years of Existence," where the ...more
Mark Flowers
My knowledge of poetry pretty much ends with modernism (which is how far I got in school - I focused on fiction), so I don't think i have the words to describe this book, but just on a visceral level this really got me. Blow-notes, If I Don't Return, and Marie-Pristine were some of my favorites, but they were mostly all great.
Lots of interesting words put together to form clauses. I have no idea what any of them mean. To be fair, I won't assign any star rating, since technically I have no comprehension of what I read.
"Sometimes a ghost entered my heart and I could feel, and sometimes phrases entered my mind and I could speak, with reason. But never was I able to stay a man long enough to remain him."
John Allen
A superb, nearly seamless piece of Decadent/Surrealist/post language work which will be a cult classic in a few decades.
Katie  Kurtz
Jul 29, 2009 Katie Kurtz rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Katie by: Found at Book Culture on 112th, NY.
There are a few too many "maudlins" but Clark's meter is fierce.
Feb 16, 2011 Vicky rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Vicky by: "K" who left a blog comment re: poem about being 23
Will need to revisit this soon
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Other Books in the Series

National Poetry Series (1 - 10 of 156 books)
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