Bob Harrison, Chorrera, Bronze Skull Press, 2003, 35p
2542 N Bremen #2, Milwaukee, WI 53212

This is a poetry that fully embraces lyricism while also openly entangling itself with some of lyricism's more problematic aspects without using irony as a insulating layer.

"i'm not frozen
i'm in the years
that untold weapons
heal, i carry

my 9 digit spectrum
to the end.

i've taken off
the road carcasses
that stench up
your workaday dreams,
you will never smell
the warning
that i fired. you release
without knowing

all the countries
that have your name
as emblem, in the sea
that never moves, podrido"

Thoughtful and fluid, with a constantly operative blurred openness operating in the ligatures.

A certain imagery and vibe not unlike Vallejo or Jose Lezama Lima -- a kind of ranging over fantastical landscapes and inner drama. This is fused with an intense filmic effect with tightly cut close-ups on domestic detail. Almost Stan Brakage-like in places.

"a tiny landscape
of softening
palms, room
offering, car port
has most
reeds, on a visit
for past -- rapid
my lift, wrong
the street
packed eggs, made
crosses, same
shoes lean
promise, owned
raid, black awe"

The words are also carefully arranged as raw art material.

be the lot of
whistles, and courts
blaze on
some plate -- through
a germ lacking
has, in hats of
Not --
or ON an instant’s

Chorrera creates a darkening effect within an imaginative space -- a space that feels on one hand like a refuge, and on the other like a highly wrought zone of confusion intercut with brief slivers of realization.

“an active report rolling through blood”

A honed and repeated elemental vocabulary: harvest, river, blood, flags, heart…

There is a theme of recuperation and repair, and a slurred, dark expressiveness with an undercurrent of protest.

Harrison uses what sometimes feels like a highly encoded and rearranged private language that maintains a strong energetic connection to perceptions, observations and preoccupations which are no longer fully discernable.

A certain hopefulness in the embrace of creative forces.

"undermine the dust"

Some of these moments of associative rearrangement counter-intuitively arrive at Zen-like destinations:

"Leave the toys
in deep flooded satellites
with no voice."

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