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(((...))) (((...)))
by Maxwell Owen Clark

(((...))) by Maxwell Clark wrestles with what can be made “out of nonsense” in a collection that is as strange as it is stunning. Clark’s poetic language resists the confines of coherence—at times, steeped in emotion that exceeds referential meaning, even crying out, “woah, man” or presenting a visual array of punctuation or letters without words. (((...))) turns chaos into control and procedure, and turns control, pristine poetic convention into the chaotic.

Clark troubles neat boundary between parody and sincerity. The poems toy with a traditional precious prettiness in poetry to produce their own contradiction and complication—an “ugly pretty kindness.”

Yet amidst the playful and parodic, the collection is acutely attuned to the ethical concerns that haunt us in solitude and in love. Offering an invigorating polyphony ranging from popular music references to Middle English vernacular, this stand-out collection torques language without abandoning the human face of the quotidian to generate a dynamic “turbo-realism.”

People are saying:

Maxwell Owen Clark was a new name for me, and reading this, his first full collection of poetry has occasioned surprise, fascination, admiration. And I have had a sense that something very old and entirely new is happening—simultaneously, as a single happening. That happen- ing is endless, timeless. We read of lyric time as transcendent, but that is not what I want to call attention to here. What I find in (((...))) is a vital, incessant, creative onflowing of poetic language—of poesie, even, though there is nothing quaint about the poetry here gathered. The title is a portal. Through it whatever Clark’s attention chances upon turns into poetry and comes swirling to us. Whoever he is, he has poetry as his friend—poetry per se. This is a glorious and glorying book.
- Lyn Hejinian

Maxwell Clark is deeply infused with high Romantic poetry but equally with poststructuralist thought. His wild syntax connects him to a line of visionary innovators and Dada tricksters. Working sometimes in the everyday and sometimes “nowhere,” Clark uses form as a conceptual tool to allow perception/interruption to occur in, and as, the poem.
- Charles Bernstein, from the Forward

136 pages
ISBN: 978-1-931824-71-2
Publication date: November 2017


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