TRee Logo

Michael McClure:

New Directions
80 Eighth Ave.
New York NY, 10011


In his introduction, McClure defines a rebel lion as "a spirit in revolt against his or her own custom and habit." And throughout the book one senses, hears, witnesses a breakthrough of the imagination into flesh as spirit as flesh as... the ubiquity of mammal consciousness at war with itself or anything that might inhibit the moment of liberation. In the opening pages we hear the "the beat of hammers," "the hollow dragging of a crowbar," but "These cannot disperse the memory of the striding/ of a jaguar..." The soul of the living creature moving in physical time and space refuses to be overwhelmed by the objects that clang and clutter our lives. These are poems to be sung, bodied forth--chants to invoke the deepest resonance of our biology and the universe as organism unbounded. Many years ago McClure, with Ginsberg and the others, took the stage one night in San Francisco and resurrected poetry from its bookish grave, gave it voices, bodies--restored it as the singing of our species. Rebel Lions suggest McClure is as vital, and as important, a singer of that song as anyone alive.--Jake Berry

Back to TapRoot Reviews homepage.

This review originally appeared in TapRoot Reviews #4,
Copyright Burning Press 1994, 1995.

Contact the editor, luigi-bob drake, at Burning Press