by Peter Ganick. 2004. Published by the author.
Book Review by Michael Basinski
For decades Peter Ganick was one of principle entrepreneurs of the new poetry of the 1980s and 1990s. Via his magazine ABACUS and his press: Potes and Poets, he published and he promoted a generation of innovative, perplexing and challenging writing, seemingly without prejudice with one exception being that the writing had to be challenging, bright and new. He was part of the L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E surge but his interest in provocative, conscious altering poetry was not limited to its publication. Ganick himself is a poet, a word I do not write without deep consideration. He has authored more than 50 books of poetry and continues to this day to actively write and publish. These six books are now added to his substantial bibliography. The tablet sequence takes its name from, seemingly, the way in which the poetry was written, which is to write in a tablet and each work, like a poetic diary entry, is composed and dated at a sitting. Sometimes there is more than one poem written at a sitting ’ such is the nature of creativity ’ meaning sometimes there is more in the tank one day than the next. The Tarsals sequence is like Tablets in compostional facets. This poetry is the work of poetry mind moving about the words and indicates the shifting and pondering, reflective and insightful mind of the poet Ganick engaged in poetry. Less opaque than some of his earlier works, this poetry falls into a comfortable rhythm of thought. Insight after insight, this poetry feels like Ganick’s best work. Free to engage poetry for poetry’s worth his poetry in these compositions are meditative moments, flashes of smart imaginative word light or lighting hitting the brain or fire flies blinking with lucid word precise imagination. Can’t put it down while reading and constantly looking up and joining with the poet in contemplations released by a mature control of language as art. The pome, the poem, the passing moments in poetry here recorded.