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Poetry Canadian

Pound @ Guntánamo

by (author) Clint Burnham

Publisher
Talonbooks
Initial publish date
Apr 2016
Category
Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780889229792
    Publish Date
    Apr 2016
    List Price
    $17.95

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Description

Throughout these poems is a meeting of obscene or politically charged material, as well as commentary on language usage under extreme circumstances of duress such as the Arab Spring. This is poetry written under conditions of wartime. The title implies an analogy between Ezra Pound, imprisoned at Pisa after World War II, and the inhabitants of the military and CIA prisons at Guantánamo Bay.

Poems cross the page or are more architectural, in tight columns, or curve like a cyberpunk office tower. Entire continents are leaped across in a line or two: “from Burquitlam Plaza to Redondo Beach metro stop/Bush with Burqas for the B.U.” but written in a city where bus drivers fix their trolley lines, and Squamish is a place you drive to, in your imagination, during a job interview conducted over the phone.

Place, in this poetry, is both a name (but whose name? the colonizer? first nation? mall developer?) and a root that grows in one’s popular culture as the only way to recognize the war machine (“why Cadence Weapon left Friendster / why the Flava Flav transformer twins’re buck-toothed”). A final word on style: Burnham’s language is compressed like an MP3 file (a format that uses lossy compression).

About the author

Clint Burnham’s most recent book is a new novel from Arsenal Pulp Press, Smokeshow. Burnham is also the author of The Jamesonian Unconscious: The Aesthetics of Marxist Theory, Fatal Femmes: the poetry of Lynne Crosbie, two collections of poetry, Be Labour Reading and Buddyland,Rental Van (Anvil 2007) and numerous chapbooks. Clint has served on the editorial collective of Fuse magazine, was a contributing editor for Paragraph, and is currently on the editorial collective of Boo.

Clint Burnham's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“The twenty poems of Pound @ Guantanamo exist in a space both temporal and geographic, as well as virtuall … Originally emerging from the 1980s and 90s small press community in and around Toronto, Burnham’s work since landing west has broadened, connecting to a wide and varied history of language poetry and social engagement … Burnham composes, perhaps, ironically so, poems that wrestle with the notion that more than talking or issuing statements (or writing poems) is enough. There has to be action associated with the speaking, otherwise, what’s the point?”
Arc Poetry Magazine

Other titles by Clint Burnham