Fulton leverages this episteme in the sonnet trio, “Triptych for Topological Heart,” to illustrate Western culture’s transition from classical religious dogma to new age secularism. The scientific theory of “topological psychology” describes the plasticity of human behavior and its propensity to adapt itself to a given environment. A significant part of this adaptation is the dominating role of concrete science over the increasingly subsidiary position of the closed-loop systems of myth and ideology.
Ange Mlinko’s new book of poetry, Marvelous Things Overheard, expresses our contemporary experience by way of micronarratives, using poetry’s familiar lens of myth, fable, and anecdote, and overlaying these with the received “truth” of the arts, science and technology as they are filtered through our national experiences and family histories. The psychological perspective, one that Mlinko surely sees as uniting us with ancients, discloses an unsettling arrhythmia at the heart of our existence in the modern world.
Flatrock is a very impressive first book by any standard. Its reeling portraits of lower class life hearken to the rough speech, coarse sentiments and unapologetic sexuality of Emile Zola’s Germinal or Erskine Caldwell’s Tobacco Road by employing neo-romantic realism and social comment to create an exciting visceral experience for the reader. Ms. Lock’s voice, by turns perceptive, witty and tart, and yet still capable of great tenderness, is remarkably consistent throughout, . . .
Fried is one of the most engaging contemporary poets writing today, for she is as thoughtful, witty and wise as the best conversationalists. Like two of her favorite poets, Charles Bukowski and Frank O’Hara, her utter lack of self-consciousness allows her to develop a unique connection with her readers, an intimacy that some poets would cut off their writing hands to replicate.
Armantrout’s technique is exploratory. She juxtaposes sermingly unrelated ideas and organizes them to evoke surprisingly intellectual and emotional resonances. In contrast to Pound’s imagism, Armantrout’s system of organization dislocates traditional associations in order to expose the fundamental bias of their presumptions.