There’s so much to enjoy in this: a poet really pushing themselves in observation,expression, feeling, in syntax and music, and a remarkable chain of images. Can’t recommend this enough.
One thing I enjoy about these poems is that they insist upon existing upon their own terms, in their own world, and by their own rules, yet still for the most part allow the reader in as, alongside the personal,they acknowledge and to some degree investigate the part language and ideas play in our daily lives. The poems are not paraphrasable (which is good) but they are almost always interesting enough to provoke thought. An unsettled air hovers over them, and one senses a variety of uncertainties.
Making art is a paradoxical thing – it’s about trying to control what controls you, so that the maker gives the impression of being in control of the material, its process, while at the same time seeming surprised by the result. Here the black cat who cat, who ‘survives as a bristle of black light’, appears to be what constantly outflanks the poet, something ungraspable that seeks to subvert his conscious intentions. The language is both inside you, folded into you in the most intimate, physical manner, and outside you, an abstraction. You might tell it what you think rather than it tell you? The words, if you could just get round behind them. If you were only quick enough you might get to perform it a fraction of a second before it gets to perform you?