Thursday, May 19, 2011

_The Primordial Density Perturbation_, by Stephen Collis, Tinfish Retro Chapbook #3

Stephen Collis, The Primordial Density Perturbation, Tinfish Retro Chapbook, June 2011. $3

This is a small book about catastrophe. Catastrophes in play are environmental, political, cultural. Vancouver poet, Stephen Collis, makes quick weaves of contemporary language—lexicons of fashion, violence, economics, media-speak, poetics, disaster. His word-sprint reveals the paradoxical richness and paucity of our lingo, rich in material, yet poverty-stricken as a solution-narrative to what ails us. A formidable poet-critic, Collis writes critical poetry about the contemporary world, pulling in with his seine everything from Tahrir Square to the Pacific plastic patch. It's quite a catch.

Stephen Collis is the author of Mine (2001), two parts of the ongoing Barricades Project—Anarchive (2005) and The Commons (2008)—and two books of criticism: Through Words of Others: Susan Howe and Anarcho-Scholasticism (2006) and Phyllis Webb and the Common Good (2007). His most recent book, On the Material (2010), won the 2011 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. A long-standing member of the Kootenay School of Writing, he teaches poetry, poetics and American literature at Simon Fraser University.

Tinfish Editor has blogged elsewhere on Stephen Collis's work.


It’s the events we lumpen

struggle agro-crop to

imagine the woops of

primordial density perturbation

or instant class consciousness

you know sea all swelly

of a sudden the perfect

heterotropic ship running

guns for governments or it’s

kefayas! all around Tahrir Square

up-thrust subduction no

two party system but

where did anything come from

and how like curtains

round a wizard ignore that man

tear it off this gauze from

eyes this false separation of

individuals we in this y’all

crap thrown fast from

unheard explosions

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