Strange Things Begin to Happen When a Meteor Crashes in the Arizona

by Michael Basinski. with Illustrations by Wendy Collin Sorin and typography and design by Luigi-Bob Drake. Burning Press, PO Box 585, Lakewood, Ohio, 44107

Book Review by

This is a most beautiful book. It features a letter press cover and the illustrations of one of Cleveland’s best illustrators and artists, namely Wendy Collin Sorin. In addition, Luigi-Bob Drake, editor of Taproot and Taproot reviews and long time Burning Press book publisher, manipulates, enhances, orchestrates Basinski’s words. Basinski’s text is a long poem called Strange Things Begin to Happens When A Meteor Crashes in the Arizona Desert. The poem combines and contains a relentless onslaught of Shakespearean sexual terminology juxtaposed with slang and colloquial phrases and romantic, memory-bound cryptic messages enjambed with the stark and sometimes dissident alphabetic sound. All of this is countered by long strings of vowels, alphabetic sounds and neologisms. The poem is all sound and not, music and not, full and filled with meaning and not. It is knots and nuts and the Goddess Nut. Wendy Collin Sorin’s art illustrates the various interweaving and collagings that occur in the occult of the poem.

Her work does not illustrate the poem but in fact is part of the poem ’ it is in fact the poem also, which is unique in the realm of poetry. Luigi-Bob Drake’s orchestral enhancements are enchantments and provide passage and twist between the pure words and un-words and the realm of illustrations and un-illustrations. Perhaps this book can be as close to an intermedia poem as possible. It is true a combination of talents and stands forward and above books made by cooperating artist. A special numbered edition with a four-colored waterless lithograph by Wendy Collin Sorin is available.