ED REISS: NOW THEN
The Poetry Business
ISBN 1 902382 83 8
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|ED REISS: NOW THEN|
No one could deny Mr Reiss's ability to use language with masterly precision, although a few might find him consistently combative and, at times, aiming for effect a little too obviously. For those then who prefer poesy of a safer ilk many of the pieces will seem odd-angled and overly consonantal. These odd-angles are, of course, his strengths. He views his subjects, like the camera of an avant-garde filmmaker, with courageous innovation — this from GNOSTICS in which the poet bemoans the 'School of Social Sciences'.
Suppose that men don't have penises and everybody chooses from a smorgasbord of polymorphous perversities no hand has seen, no eye has heard. Live with fantasists too long And their obstortions come to seem the norm. [sic] There's a process you might call collusion here in the School of Social Sciences.In the next four stanzas he likens it to a monastic community in Tabbinisi circa 370AD who conceal codices in a jar beneath the sands of Nag Hammadi. Codices that once interpreted say
that saint and sinner live in light no tongue has heard, no ear has seen, no doubt occurred. — a truly gnostic, esoteric belief.Some readers may prefer his less up-front pieces. The rather minimalist, ODD, I find moving (again angled uniquely). The little boy is quizzing his father who is having an early morning shave (final two stanzas):
do you know what I mean, it's odd to think that I'm me? (and you — you); and he replied, as if he did know, but hadn't time to take it further: yes, I think I do.He uses a combination of Dr Spooner and Stanley Unwin in IN WUNBRIDGE TELLS:
After seer and bandwiches at Drowning SteetThe piece sends up, quite hilariously, the goings-on of Government in a language more apposite than plain English.
There are many linguistic delights in these 26 poems. Most readers will enjoy hugely his prosodic fleet of foot.
|reviewer: Michael Bangerter.|