Knott's poems (like Celan's) are characterized by compounded words, convoluted syntax, and parataxic leaps. In the hands of a lesser poet this making strange in order to make new(er) might seem like so much postmodern knee jerk. His sophisticated strategies and lyric euphony (based on alliteration, assonance, and smart rhymes) should convince that it just isn't so. Many poems rely on anatomical imagery, especially the skin -- which serves both as the life's archive as well as the self's non-negotiable boundary. The succinct "Escape Plan," states the problem: "I examine/ my skin / searching for / the pore / with EXIT / over it." Between poems that move in and out of smuggish sobriety (frequently wedding existential angst to what has traditionally been the camp of low-brow culture, as in "The Man Who Married His Checkout Lane"), are light sardonics, often metapoetic, which provide surcease between longer poems that demand, and deserve, multiple readings. Copyright © 1996, Boston Review. All rights reserved.
-- From The Boston Review