Peter Gizzi is one of the most talented poets of our generation as he proves with this sparse, phenomenal collection, "Threshold Songs".
Gizzi's style is dizzying in the same way that a painting beginning to drool is dizzying--his phantom like dissection table of poems, really in no one fixed form, is like reading a chat between a man and Kant's "The Thing In Itself". Example, and my personal favorite:
"A GHOST CARD FOR ROBERT"
What do you see when you see a dress sounding in deep indigo, a head made of text, a paper halo torn about the head.
What do you see when you see the shape of a hare and a galaxy, a river and some rushes, when you see the outline of the hare and its positive adrift.
What do you see when you read left to right, a cartoon boy on a cartoon lawn, arms outstretched, when you see the word SUN in block capitals over there, a shaft of whiteout above the hare leaping into an unked heart into a ghost boy into a green ray into space.
You'll see the read and blue shift, you'll see orbiting patterns, and now you see a woman buried in sepia with child."
This is verbal wizardry at it's highest, recalling Wallace Stevens at his most obscure and most brilliant, and Hart Crane at his best. One could too easily categorize this as "conceptual poetry"--I think that pigeonholes what Gizzi has accomplished here. It is a manifesto of sensory deprivation and acclimation, a waterboarding of complacency, a pyrotechnic show of prosody--all that and more. Absolutely recommended to any lover of poetry.