Bink Noll is a tough penned, trapeze-minded poet. At his most subterranean and significant level, he infuses the packed line with a pungency of a Stanley Kunitz or Robert Lowell, but, unlike them the play of the intellect almost always goes nowhere. And this is the prime fault. The imagery is nugget-hard, the concell is quasi-metaphysical; he knows how to shape a poem, give it verbal vibrancy, distinctive diction; further, he steers clear of both sehmalz and/or sentiments. Yet the Achille's heel is there: no vital set of experiences to match the obviously vital set of techniques. The suburban scene (elemental barbe), the domestic joke (an apostrophe to a cockroach) or misunderstanding (marital ); the more usual ethico-aesthetic considerations (poems about Abraham, Norelassus, Moses), even his sharpest, surest stanzas (Picador Bit, Omaha Beach, Winter ); begin either to blur at mid-center and fizz out at the end, or never really master the mental areas. Obscurity, not complexity, is the result. Nevertheless, set against the amby pamby of many modish contemporaries, he remains a poet to watch, to hope and to root for.