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SESOS EXTREMOS by John M. Bennett

After having read John M. Bennett's poetry almost daily for 20 plus
years, you would think I would have something very definite to say
about it, but if there's one thing I've learned from reading it all these
years, is that things can change in an instant. At first you think
some of the pieces you've been reading are hardcore concrete poetry,
poetry of and maybe to the physicality of words, of expression, the
mechanicality or instrumentality of thought, but then that year, you
happen to meet or watch a performance by John and you've got the book in your hand, and suddenly you realize that a certain percentage of
the poems, or even of any given poem, might suddenly become a very
succinct notation for performance, an agile, well oiled vocal
performance where some strange fog is playing the 'john-horn' or its fog
suit avatar. In short, that the poem was made as such for a specific
purpose (in one sense), but also that it is still concrete poetry, or
it's concrete sound poetry mapped to a visualization, and its
functionalization as such is also visually important because it
realizes a unique cultural production which is both solipsistic and
immensely social and referential. There are the collaborations, the
works inspired by travel and friendships, poems in Spanish and French,
and an engagement with the entireties of several avant-garde
traditions and anti-traditions. There are hacks, riffings, homages,
fever dreams, and obsessions galore! Like an oozing tarantula of
snapping human jawbones carved from Olmec jade, or the Zapotec
lightning amoeba Cocijo, the poetry of Dr. Bennett works its way into
the crannies of your soft green brain, it sticks on your neck like a
stain inspecting the muddy blowhole you call a mind. It's literary
peyote, both sacred and profane, but also scared because it's making
propane in the cave and the only light there is from an illuminated
turtle language (with fire legs in its shirt) and there's some gelatin
left over which is already living in a bowl on your mantle and it has
its own flag, the stone hand, ALTO! who knows how it got there, John
may have picked it up on his shoe in the jungles of Mexico riding with
the revolutionaries until they got lost, or found. In short, John M.
Bennett is a national treasure and an international man of mystery. Is
he a mild-mannered librarian or a fluxist master? Is he camping in a
hole full of beans? Possibly. Whatever it is he's doing, he's doing it
just fine and will probably continue to do it, no matter what we think.

- Lanny Quarles 2018


117 pages

ISBN 9781938521492

$13.00 US







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