by John Crouse. Xtant Books. 2001. 1512 Mountainside Court, Charlottesville, VA.
Book Review by Michael Basinski
In Prefaces there are 20 poems, which, I assume, are 20 prefaces. Upon reading I became swept intoxicated by the music of poet John Crouse’s work. Truly, he has poetry as music in his focus, for us who might forget that the vowels have it and vowels make it. Music is meaning here in these - well - songs/scores. Prefaces - yes - I know poems. However, the music is everywhere seeping in and springing up eruptions and ejaculations of pleasure over and over. In these poems - you read about The Writer. That mysterius creator/being that in this myth in music. The act of writing feels effortless almost spontaneous. However, music as is in these poems is never effortless to compose. Certainly, not at this level of sophistication. But to make it feel effortless - ah. The pace of the poetry is dazzling and also without seam or break. Of course there are other levels in John Crouse’s poems. They are about, so to speak, A Writer - The Writer - what is written. His character, being, alter/altar self and self in the act of creation is objectified as the energy being The Writer engages words to make the poem. Crouse turns the ego of most poems into The Writer merging and mingling with the poetry. Biology, obviously, there is much to write about these poems. I am sure the realm of the poem will hear form from John Crouse. There is much to write. However, allow me to engage my own emotional response. Ah, the vowel music soars great Snowy Owls with yellow eyes.