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Lighthead (Poets, Penguin) Paperback – March 30, 2010
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Time in these poems, for example, is itself not so much relative as tenuous, as if it's always slipping away or defined by other tenuous and temporary things. In a related poems group entitled "Three Measures of Time," his brother tells time by food ("The past is nutritious; the past is there on the table / with the hair you know is Ma's color..."); his father tells time by smell ("The smell / of barbeque in a sentence, the scent / long gone flat as money")' and his mother by "none of the hours jumping at the window. /By the joblessness of God and the body / beneath a floral bedsheet..."
Place, too, is something ephemeral, as in "Fish Head for Katrina:"
The mouth is where the dead
Who are not dead do not dream.
A house of damaged translations
Task married to distraction
As in a bucket left in a storm
A choir singing in the rain like fish
Acquiring air under water
Prayer and sin the body
Performs to know it is alive
Lit from the inside by reckoning
As in a city
Which is no longer a city...Read more ›
Really though, some dazzling stuff here, particularly his invention of the "pecha kucha" form (based on a style of Japanese slideshow used for business presentations). The tension between the "slides"/stanzas and their individual titles fleshes out the concepts in an even deeper way, even beyond the surface-level puzzles that he puts forward, so that the pieces end up working on multiple levels and kind of driving you insane and force you to read them over and over, getting more and more out of them each time. There's some game-changing stuff in there.
As mentioned before, I love how omnivorous he is with his references and also with his themes; love, family, the personal vs. cultural/racial history, music...there's even some funny stuff in there too!
For all the brou-ha-ha about the National Book Award committee being so ivory-tower-y, I can't fault them picking this book, at least.Read more ›
In Lighthead by Terrance Hayes the poems cover the gambit of sexuality, failure, and triumph.
In God is An American has a stanza "I love words. When we make love in the morning/ your skin damp from a shower, the day calms".
The soulful book captures the essence of change in a continuing shifting world.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A gift for my grandson and he states that he is enjoying it.Published 12 months ago by J. M. Hammerick
Fantastic and accessible. I got to meet Terrence two weeks after buying this book, and he truly does write in his own voice.Published 16 months ago by Ryan W Shepard
This book is a conversation piece. Additionally the speed of delivery was impressive.Published 18 months ago by Birgitta L Ramsey