Continuing my trundle thru The Grand Piano (just finished #5), I took down a couple of Kit Robinson's books. Of all the Grand Pianists, he & Steve Benson are the ones with whose work I'm probably least familiar. Ice Cubes is in 3 sections: "Up Early," a run of 12-line poems (composed in early morning? limbering-up exercises? – at any rate, spare, tense, & intelligent); "Oleo," a series of longer-lined, 5-lined stanza'd pieces, rather denser and more witty – I'm way keen on "Nesting of Layer Protocols":
Theory has it the word came first. But you alwayshave to take somebody's word for it. That word,built up over time with letters from variousalphabets, edges polished by the erosion of speech,is itself a result.
– and the 50 or so pages of "Ice Cubes," poems in 4-line stanzas, one word per line. A neat trick, the form placing equal emphasis on each word, forcing Robinson to make lexical choice "count." For the most part (as in the earlier sections) straightforward syntax, casual tone, but a light effect very unlike the sometimes ponderous Orientalism of Zukofsky's 1-word-per-line passages.
Tho Louisville isn't really a "book town," I managed to add a fair stack to the "unread" poetry shelf. Tell me what to read next:
Collected Poems, Paul AusterTerra Lucida, Joseph DonahueCrown of Weeds, Amy GerstlerGhost Girl, Amy GerstlerInventions of Necessity, Jonathan GreeneTeth, Sheila E. MurphyUnrecounted, W. G. SebaldOurs, Cole SwensenMental Ground, Esther Tellermann