by John Crouse and Jim Leftwich. Xtant books 2002. 1512 Mountainside Ct., Charlottesville, Va. 22903-9797
Book Review by Michael Basinski
Here are 33 (Christly!) pages of colored printed collage poems that are made from words and worded crumbled paper, manipulated text, drawings, alphabetic manipulations, found language, cartoons etc. It is contemporary word and collaborative contemporary word art at that! Both artists are established experimentalists and this bonding strengthens the bond of their network and enhances the exchange of experimental and progressive poetic ideas that has manifested itself in combo art, of which this is a fine representative chunk sample. This form of poetry is the venue in which Charles Olson’s composition by field in currently applicable. Only in contemporary visual poetry does Olson’s notion of poetry come into place and play. And here composition by field is developed, experimented with and in this poem those notions are evolving in compositions of found field visual poetry. All things can and do and may come into the poem. Truly, we can trace these poems back to Ezra Pound. However, one must twist and weave that tread with the visual underground as it matured in the 1990s. This is an exciting and innovative poetry. If you are interested in where poetry is going (and leave the history with Pound and the rest to pedants), then contact Leftwich and Crouse. See address above. And it does not hurt to send a buck or a twelve pack of eggs. Maybe some bananas.