||CLEAN & WELL LIT: SELECTED POEMS 1987-1995
by Tom Raworth
Tom Raworth's lines are flecks "reflecting light/from an implied viewpoint," as not from the setting sun but towards it. His lines appear to refer to other narratives and to be also their own sources only. Source of events as "assumptions about history." As apparent reflections from themselves (not from the implied 'larger narrative') the lines are "passing near the black hole/in ordinary flat space." If the lines are "coincidences/moving relative to one another" "irrespective of identity" yet occur through narration "making the visual field/radically estranged," "meaning might be/an inexhaustibility of reference/rather than detailing/flecks that float on the surface/where gaze unfolds."
- Leslie Scalapino
"For more than thirty years, Tom Raworth has been at the forefront of English language writing. With the fastest line in the west, Raworth's flickering, disconsolate, syntactically restless, lilting, often angry, almost balletic poems resist habitual thought at every break, rekindling animate social consciousness. There is no better introduction to Raworth than Clean & Well Lit."
- Charles Bernstein
"Bricks in the soup nail the soap out of doors? And then the parlors for miles without floors. Long past time the blamed terms rang gone? The Raworth loves to hum them toward the end. "
- Clark Coolidge
Publication date: September 1996
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