Monday, January 14, 2008

Richard Kostelanetz PO/EMS Review by Irene Koronas

Richard Kostelanetz
PO/EMS 2008 $6.00
contemporary poetry series
Presa :S: Press
PO Box 792 Rockford, Mi 49341

Review by Irene Koronas


po/ems by Richard Kostelanetz give us the reader
chances to see ordinary words in a new configuration,
and new connotations. once we decipher these poems or
this sparse collection of cut up cut off cut from
original meaning, word play word talk, we are left
a/lone up/on a/cross

Kostelanetz challenges our perceptions, ideas of what
a poem can offer. a few poems do this very well, a few
fall open, askew of the original intention, which I’m
presupposing to be profound, humorous, clever or
disco/very, or absolutely nothing, devoid of emotion,
(again this is my presumption. ) I except his
punctuation, his deconstruction; he influences many
contemporary poets, including myself.

I’m partial to his poem on page 23 because the visual
works within the small open framed space. my criticism
would be the bold fon the like so much. I feel like he
feels like we won’t get it unless we are presented
with flash recognitions, unless the page space is
filled with bold strokes like a neon sign on the
highway and those little emphatic symbols gotta go.
infinity or not. there is a sentimentality to those
two symbols and in a book like this it don’t make it.
even though i’m impressed with his tan/gent, I soon
return to his (Kostelanetz’ s) 1993 book, ‘word works,’
a master piece in experimentation. in that book on
page 193, ‘preface xii partitions,’ Richard says, “the
idea of imitating what is taught in school - or either
proving myself or establishing my credibility through
the mastery of classroom exercises - has never
interested me.” then he continues further on, “…I
think it can be seen that my poetry belongs to
tradition, mostly American, that is concerned with
radical inventions within the machinery of poetry…”

po/ems is worth the six dollar entrance fee.

Irene Koronas
poetry editor
wilderness house literary review

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