A cool, mercurial poet who convinces us he could ""do"" any kind of poetry he wanted, and probably several kinds at once if we begged. He approaches technique in the spirit of a popular performer -- anything and everything goes so long as it keeps the audiences gasping and attuned. His language is casually subtle and his continuities are recklessly self-propelled, veering and pausing like consciousness itself, with psychedelia at the verge. It is the kind of balancing act that almost everyone should be able to enjoy; but for all the suspense and imaginative excitement Rudnik is still essentially a poet's poet. Few others could so fully appreciate his detached irreverence toward the old poetic sanctions, or his commitment to (and preoccupation with) imagination, or the odds against his precarious poise. His peers chose him unanimously for the first Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award, which the long title poem -- a haunted, spirited dialogue between lovers waked at midnight -- alone could justify. But general readers should not be put off; the work itself is not so serious as all that, and you need not know the game well to be caught up in his playing.