GREEN SEES THINGS IN WAVES by August Kleinzahler


Email this review


Kleinzahler’s fourth book relies on a wealth of voices and styles, from the hipster’s scatty lingo to the three-chord cadences of rock-’n—-roll; his sense of absence in the bleak West recalls the withered artistry of Sam Shepard, while his urban talkers sound like Mamet’s sharp chatterers. Kleinzahler exults in the confluence of —accident and artifice,— and his casually surreal poems appear more accessible than they are, though the title narrative simply reflects an acid burnout’s madness, not the refractions of physics. —Snow in New Jersey— scans the industrial landscape and declares the past aesthetics of ’social realism— as nothing more than an idea in a book. —Tanka-Toys— and —Toys— both riff on youthful pleasures, discovering truth in a spaldeen’s bounce. Taking a cue from the collage art of Joseph Cornell and Ezra Pound, Kleinzahler arranges his images for sonic effect since, as —Glossolalia All the Way to Buffalo— suggests, —words come loose/of their moorings and fall apart.— —52 Pick-Up— is little more than a selection of evocative words and phrases, with a tip of the hat to Irwin Corey’s absurdist semantics. But his funky rhythms and itinerant sights support a wildly original vision.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-374-16672-2
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1998


NonfictionSALLIES, ROMPS, PORTRAITS, AND SEND-OFFS by August Kleinzahler
by August Kleinzahler
NonfictionCUTTY, ONE ROCK by August Kleinzahler
by August Kleinzahler
AdultLIVE FROM THE HONG KONG NILE CLUB by August Kleinzahler
by August Kleinzahler