NEW DIRECTIONS 43 by J. with Peter Glassgold and F. R. Martin--Eds. Laughlin


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The 43rd number of this veteran anthology is sparked with light from its poets--only. Anne Waldman's ""Putting Makeup On Empty Space"" represents a turn into the bardic for this young American--one that's still imperfect but strongly promising: ""I want the brown of one floor to rise up into empty space/Take the floor apart to find the brown/bind it up again under spell of empty space."" Robin Gadjusek's poetry shows power (if, as yet, equally iron mannerisms). Dori Katz has translated some good poems of the French poet Guillevic. But the crown must be given, overall, to fine poems by Portuguese poet Marlo Cesariny: playful, nearly surrealist work that drops, of a sudden, into the cadences of elegy: ""There'll be no more stay nor shelter nor arrival/but a quadrature of fire over our heads/and a stone road as far as the end of lights/and a silence of death at our passing."" The rest of the poetry--by Eliot Weinberger, Michael Reck, Edwin Brock, Ruth Domino, Giovanni Raboni, Justo Jorge Padrón, Antonio Cisneros, and Bosko Petrovic--is much less compelling. Two unexceptional short plays are here: Rudiger Kremer's radio play on the dying hours of Polish poet Jan Potocki; another of James Purdy's odd homosexual burlesque/melodramas. And among the prose--by Alain Naduad (a Borges-like story of literary impersonation), Ursule Molinaro, Lawrence Millman, Geoffrey Rips--only one piece of work stands out: an effective--if slightly over-solemn--story that turns into a purifying myth, ""The Palace of Kandahar,"" by New Zealander Russell Haley. A weak anthology, generally--some interesting poetry notwithstanding.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1981
Publisher: New Directions