Monday, October 19, 2009

In his way is a difficult poet to pin down.  Certainly
He works within a distinctly American idiom, Though
To ignore his debt to Rilke would be rash.  Also,
He possesses the same intellectual acuity
Of say the French poets and all the wit of the English
Eighteenth century satirists
But propelling most of the work no doubt is classic
Whitmanesque free verse full of cataloguing and all sorts
Of democratic asides.  Hear too the Beat syncopations
And their frankness as well, particularly as he turns to
Matters of the body and its carnal applications. 
All this is not to say he is a poet unlike Emily Dickinson,
Or the authors of the King James Bible nor even an exemplar
Of dada or Situationist accidental bricolage. 
He is a romantic, if an analytical one and one
Senses a highly devotional and elegiac quality to the oeuvre. 
There are confessions, of course, but they are neither indulgent nor icky.
On the whole the poems tend to be short, some comprised
Even of but one line
Or less, but there is always a certain grasping at the universal at work -
A profundity found in simplicity, as in haiku
Or good coffee.  Other times they are like confetti,
And explode with fun on the page.  In matters of sadness,
The question of which of course has been raised before,
There is perhaps a certain melancholic optimism threaded
Throughout.  Aquilone believes in the sorrows of the world,
But the joys too he knows are as
Substantial and fleeting.

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