SEPTEMBER BLACKBERRIES by Michael McClure

SEPTEMBER BLACKBERRIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This well-known California author of many small-press poetry books (Gargoyle Cartoons, Hymns to St. Geryon, The Beard, et al.) does his best to follow his own dictum (""for the extinction/ of the intellectivity/ OF/ALL/ LIVING CHILDREN!!!"") -- however, the result is edifying neither to the body nor the brains of child, man, or fish. The style is a kind of forced hysteria, seemingly energized by a hatred of our society, characterized by combinations of unrelated events (often trivial), or sometimes mere listings (a symbol of his hatred of organization?) of pedantic scientific and pseudo-profound philosophic theses: ""5. ONE BEING IS POLYTHEISM. . . 26. THE SENSORIUM, MEMORIES, AND GENES -- ARE CONSTELLATIONS. . . 60. REVOLT IS BIOLOGI--CAL. . . ."" He describes rather than depicts his inner states (""I am one with the euglena, triceratops, mammoth and sea urchin. I am one with the universe and energy. . ."") with an almost total absence of the poetic metaphor that might enable him to create an objective correlative for the transmission of his feelings, relying on almost random capitalization to supernaturalize the ordinary: ""Look, there/ is/ Mount Tam -- and MOUNT DIABLO!"" The difficulty of reading this stoned-out celebration that sounds like a madman's rant is increased by the layout of the lines, which are printed to symmetricize to an ideal center of the page, for reason no doubt aesthetic to the author but distracting to the reader.

Pub Date: March 15th, 1974
ISBN: 081120524X
Publisher: New Directions