Tuesday, March 29, 2011


REVIEW OF GUY R. BEINING'S CHAPBOOK: Nozzle 1-36 (Presa Press http://presapress.com)

By L. E. Bryan

After reading, Guy R. Beining's, latest chapbook, Nozzle 1-36, and never having read any of his work before, I wasn't quite sure, at first, whether or in what way his conceptual poems appealed to me, a poet from the school of the concrete. So I sought out and read more of Beining's work, discovering in the process that he often creates arresting artwork to both accompany his poetry and as art on its own. So I read his current chapbook again, and began to see a fascinating correlation and relationship between poet and visual artist, the way his poems create quick, contrasting images in rapid succession, generating with words collagist images reminiscent of such artist as Max Ernst, Anna Hoch, Romare Bearden, et al.

The first five lines of the poem Nozzle 17. read,

who is the ringer now,
in this bellhop urgency of things?
The intruder wondered about
the difference between a
bellhop & doorman.

In those lines we see and feel, equally, Beining's words as opposed to our understanding of a conventional path to meaning. Beining brings to his chapbook, Nozzle 1-36, a in past poetry, a dynamic and iconoclastic vision. In doing so, he chooses then paints his words upon a personal canvas consisting of a blank page. He draws abstract imagery from its original sources, in particular, Cubism, Dadaism, and Surrealism, transforming them into a matrix of words emphasizing conceptual value. Referring to a previous chapbook, Botola (Trapdoor), Beining reveals wit and a sense of play he brings to his poetry when he says about the book, it's a collage lover's delight: smutty, eccentric, and profound like 'neon on nylon.'”

What I also find interesting about Beining is a certain mystery about the man himself. I've yet to find a picture of him. Biographical information is sparse and illuminates very little about his life as poet and visual artists. I found the following information: Born, Guy Robin Nicholas Beining, in London on September 26,1938. Mother a Russian aristocrat. Norwegian father. Confined to his house with rheumatic fever from 1951-54. Schooled at home. Attended University of Indiana from 1955, University of Florida 1958-1960. Discharged from the Army in 1963. That same year he moved to New York City. Relocated to Connecticut in 2000, where he continues to live.

French-American artist, Marcel Duchamp seemed to have defined the poetry of, Guy R. Beining, when he made this observation: The creative act is not performed by the artists alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.

***** Louis Edward Bryan is a New Jersey native, a published poet, journalist, and fiction writer. His work has appeared in the Hayden's Ferry Review, The Wisconsin Review, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and in various other literary and commercial publications. Awards include those from the Seattle Arts Commission, Jerome Foundation, and the Anna & Perry Lee Long Prize for Poetry. He lived and attended schools in the U. S. and overseas as a former Army dependent, a background that has given impetus to Bryan's extensive travels as an adult, more recently, residing in Paris from 2002 to 2004. Having lived in Massachusetts during his youth, Bryan returned to the Boston area in 2009.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent review. I have a desire to read
    this poet soon. His verse is economical
    and a bit mysterious.
    The Duchamp quote is so
    very true.