Synopses & Reviews
Poetry. In this dazzling cycle of poems, Doug Nufer, wizardly author of poetry and prose works based on formal constraints, starts with a simple constructive rule, exemplified by its title: present a sequence of letters, grouped into a word or words; follow it by the same sequence, differently grouped; repeat. This foundational principle, ruthless in its purity, gives rise, like a jazzy passacaglia, to the most diverse forms, whose endless variations murder and reproduce like cellular automata creeping across the page. In the mind and ear of the reader, meanings, rhythms and sounds burst into dizzying presence and are swept away with ebullient panache. Nufer's art here is a high-energy high- wire act of wit, joining formal severity with frivolity and making stops at all points in between. Don't be afraid, Reader, to take the local and spend some time on this tour, bar-hopping with your precise yet whimsical guide across an initially alien but ultimately friendly and stimulating space--you will end up welcoming the cheerful pop of your newly effervescent brain exploding.
"Perhaps the me theme is the song of the selfie moment: a meme. Tautologically reduplicating itself in line after line, it asks to be seen, since its playful splay paragrams can't always be heard. On page after page, Nufer amazes: a maze, simply implying, ingrows rows--word spur. Words' purposes: poses. Each poem's narrative folds in semantic doublings that evoke not so much a stutter, as a self-aware and self-mocking torrent of bawdy puns, mythological reference, and poetic intertextuality. That English has this capacity, and that Nufer exploits its possibilities so thoroughly, belies the book's claim to be an aesthetic anaesthetic tome to me. Even as its language might lull us to sleep, the alphabet's alpha bets here prove testament to its overweening over weening author's ability to wake language."--Amaranth Borsuk