Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Joshua Corey

Stopped off for lunch at the Moosewood, in Ithaca, which was everything you would expect, and, well, I'll be back. What a great town, too. Is it limestone? It feels like Christopher Dewdney's southwestern Ontario, all those layers like the Icelandic cake (Vínarterta) my grandmother used to make. Of course it probably is very similar since it's the downside of the Niagra Escarpment.
Found a great little bookstore there as well, and in it a new chapbook from Joshua Corey, the third Joshua who got a short shrift in my earlier post. I was looking to fill out my knowledge of his work and picked up Composition Marble, from Pavement Saw Press. I'm just dipping into it, and should probably wait to post, but I can't. I'm enjoying it too much. I love the confident voice, the steady eye looking at the world around, seeing not only the surface, but depth and motion. I assume this is part of a longer work, this intense looking, at least from the size and breadth of the canvas:
The Hudson flows backward into a history
that maybe meant something.
Voyageurs and pelts. Algonquin people
turning to wit and byword
The poems careen with great, driving force, pulling toward something--I haven't yet finished this little chapbook yet so I don't know what, but I'm loving the ride, and the observations.
There are still galleries in Soho if you know where to look,
while parts of Brooklyn are remembered for their grass.
Ferries find the suburbs--I'm crossing by EZ Pass.
Forever sutured to a birthplace, Mt. Sinai been seen,
Sloan-Kettering may yet see. Yet first I breathed this air:
savor of wine and monoxide, wind picking up
a vacuum abhorred by English, tan of unseen sea.
Sun-barred buildings in Midtown, snow never white for long.
The bio says Corey is working on a dissertation on modernist pastoral. I can't wait to read that too. GREAT idea.

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