Monday 19 October 2015

Cole Swensen's The Glass Age (Alice James Books, 2007), first selection

Those in the Bath area will want to see Cole Swensen when she reads on the Bath Spa University poetry series at Burdall's Yard on Thursday, 29 October at 8 p.m.; tickets are free for students and only £3 for the public at, and the venue urges pre-booking so as to avoid disappointment and to help them with staffing.

Here are some favourite passages from the first section, The Open Window (passages from the latter two sections will follow in a separate post):

Sand and ash                    (the ocean like glass
                                            we say of a day when nothing moves)
further a natural feeling for light.

* reach

is not necessarily to touch....


So often in Bonnard's work, the window is where we actually live, a vivid liminality poised on the sill, propped against the frame, he turns and speaks for the first time that day.


Photography replaced the river, which, due to unexpected complications, resulted in the Great Age of the Train.


The earliest movie was a window.


...diffusing the focus into a plane that hums, a homogenous intensity extending anarchically....


It's an equivalent world, one in which each element serves as a clinamen to trip the homogeneity into precipitating specifics so numerous that they can construct a rolling chaos quite able to hurtle through darkness without a hitch.


...a floodplain on which skates, fleet apothecary, the glance.


Whatever enters through a window is a ghost; everything else is just visiting--transfixed witness to the instant of the threshold, the site of the slip, the shift; we look up.

In the UK, Cole Swensen's books are most easily found through Abe Books

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