Sunday, March 08, 2009

Joseph Donahue: World Well Broken

World Well Broken, Joseph Donahue (Talisman House, 1995)

Back in the mid-90s, someone in middle Tennessee was regularly funnelling review (?) copies of new Talisman House, Sun & Moon, & Coach House books into a stall in an antique mall in Nashville, where I would come by a couple times a year & buy them all. I remember checking out with Joe Donahue's World Well Broken, anent which a blue-haired woman working the cash register commented to a friend, "Looka that – 'world way-ull broken' – well, it surely is, isn't it?"

World Well Broken, aside from the opening "Opiate Phobia," entirely leaves behind short lyrics in favor of more expansive things. "Spectral Evidence" is like a course in hauntology, the ghosts of Maya Deren & Harry Smith popping up at every turn. "Christ Enters Manhattan" is tremendous, the Second Coming imagined as a horror movie scripted by William Blake & directed by Luis Buñuel.


No comments: