by John M. Bennett. 208 pages. 2001. Potes & Poets Press, 2 Ten Acres Drive, Bedford, MA 01730-2019
Book Review by Michael Basinski
Here we have a most wonderful and first massive collection of poems by one of poetry’s most active agents. Bennett spends more time in the present, presence of the poem, than any other poem writer. For most, the imagination is a selective filter and the act of writing a meditative activity. In Bennett’s rule all action comes into the poem instantly. As Zen like, in the moment, as Bennett’s writing can be, it is also Action. I suspect nothing is left out and with the most fanatical furry of writing, form becomes the page in which, on which are captured butterflies, insects, moths, fire-hydrants, feet, and peas, eves of tuna, and all that might and can and may and does occupy conversation and daily life. Bennett’s relentless thought is wildly extravagant and expressionistic. And the poems also have humor and passion juice. Here is a sense of place of high excitation and agitated imagination and transcendent vibration of the universe people bus energy and socks and but (yes, but). In one poem he writes blender blender. AH, yes. A metaphor. A quiet place in the madness. An intoxicating experience, this book is top-shelf. And the so-called real world is and shell be never the same again.