by David Baratier. 2002. Xtant Anabasis. 1512 Mountainside Ct., Charlottesville, Va. 22903-979
Book Review by Michael Basinski
The form of these prophecies are fortune-telling prophecies printed on cards that one would get for a quarter - maybe two quarters - at some Coney Island type board-walk penny-arcade thing where Estrella would be within a glass box peering into your future. Drop in a coin - get out a fortune. What a place for poetry. Poetry is of course prophecy. Baratier reminds us of this from his Delphi imagination. Exactly and wonderful. It is Baratier’s imagination that generates these fortunes and we that are the fortunes of poetry and we are fortunate to get the poems that are twists of language and puns and endless playfulness of language and that darkness between humor that is life in America also. So they are not without a string. And they lead one into a magical and marvelous laberynthian of the might be possible, which is fortune anyway as one finds one’s way into the poetic future. But not in anyway hostile to the ordinary because of course a fortune has to exist and you must find it, under a stump, in a pyramid or in this instance, in this book of poems, where in is a fortune of poetry.