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Spencer Selby:

Detour Press
1506 Grand Ave. #3
St. Paul MN, 55105

64 pp., $7.95

A nicely produced perfect-bound volume of poems, each of which is a meditation on poetry (or language) and knowing, and how they might relate, processes that are essentially elusive and unknowable, a fact of which the text is aware: "It seems you are lost in a jungle/ displayed through every sign of life that// you can't get your hands on, closing in/ then falling back when probability says// it just wants a good honest watershed/ with which to ride things out." (from "No Way") Selby has pulled off a difficult feat here: the poems contain an intelligent discussion of issues that are abstract and ineffable, and yet they achieve a great lyric beauty at the same time: "Timebound secrets fall inside each new departure// moving smartly down the current drive. Dark/ lines stand at every turn, with not a word to waste/ before the trail you're making eats you alive." (from "The Circuit")--John M. Bennett

Musing-turned-pure-feeling in poems about the way, in life, that "Puzzles break and break down/ like rivers you forget in the rain." Sundry brilliances of wording, as in the preceding quotation when the meaning of "break" abruptly shifts from "coming apart" to "come suddenly into being or notice." Equally brilliant abrupt fusions of the conceptual with the sensual--as when, in the same passage, certain minor puzzles in the over-puzzle that is existence are compared to rivers blinking out of notice in the higher, grander body of water (& noise) that rain is.--Bob Grumman

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

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