From Publishers Weekly
In his second book of poetry, McGrath ( Capitalism ) writes about "America, the thing itself" and about coming of age in a world where there are "versions of Armageddon / cast up like driftwood on the shallow bar of my youth." His style draws on the Beat energy of the '50s; Jack Kerouac's spirit, in particular, hovers over the book. In "Wheel of Fire, The Mojave," McGrath drives across America "to find myself." And in "Blue Tulips and Night Train for Jack Kerouac's Grave," he travels on a bus, glimpses a blue light, "a manifestation of something deeper, a greater spirit," and wishes Kerouac "could have been there to take courage from it." His best writing bursts with ambition, as in "Nagasaki, Uncle Walt, the Eschatology of America's Century," with its "millennial hootenanny of ludic glee" and the links suggested between art and the destruction of figures (Jackson Pollock, Anne Sexton) from the poet's youth. Still, McGrath is often too much the observer. His life is "a favorite film with multiple endings" with his wife "the star of each." And sometimes verbal brilliance becomes an end in itself: "stroke the music's / cobbled skin, scaled like fifth notes / and luckless armadillos / flayed to stitch your honky-tonk vestment."
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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Sly, passionate, funny and smart, and not in alternation but all at once, Campbell McGrath's poems are genuine, accurate, American, eccentric."-- William Matthews"What a wild, intense, and gifted poet Campbell McGrath is! American Noise is one of the best books of poetry I have read by anyone of his generation."-- Thomas Lux"Campbell McGrath writes big, roughhousing, tender, visionary, reckless, purely American poems. He's a passionate democrat, the Whitman of our spoiled world. This is a brilliant, disturbing book."-- Chase Twichell