Tentatively, Convenience's Reviews > A Geology

A Geology by Clark Coolidge
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really liked it
bookshelves: poetry

The progression in Coolidge's bks continues: from stanzas to paragraphs, this is the shortest bk yet. Also, this is the last bk by Coolidge I've read & it's 20 yrs old now. Looking him up online, I see that he's written quite alot more since then. Now, I'm curious again. The fragments of the earlier bks are gone, full sentences (of sorts) are here. But, of course, the sentences are unusual. But this time, the unusualness doesn't necessarily revolve mainly around the way parts of speech are used. Now there's 'straight-forward' descriptiveness wch cd almost be described as 'surreal':

"Convicts in independent spangles, discuses flung at their backs. Convicts in lard costume, with yellow goggles to their tin eyes. Convicts at the edges of holes, polishing brass that's a liquid in pits. Convicts beset with priming coats, white British moths at their lips. Convicts in a square grey chamber, moons independent of them."

But I wdn't REALLY call it 'surreal', it's more complex than that usually is. I think of a John Cage comment about Morton Feldman's later thru-notated pieces. He sd something to the effect that they were Feldman playing his earlier graph notation pieces - the ones where register (high, middle, low) was specified rather than partiocular notes. Maybe Coolidge has undergone a similar development, maybe the fragments of the earlier work were his registers & by 1981 he was writing the particulars.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
April 6, 2008 – Shelved
April 6, 2008 – Shelved as: poetry

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