before i got this book in the mail i read on someone’s blog that it had a lot of sex in it: i was a bit nervous about that. maybe that’s just my thing to deal with. anyway i’m over it. Super 8 is one of the most original things i’ve seen in quite a while. why? i guess i can’t leave it at that. the poems in this chap are all in some way floating about old porno films. it’s an unusual choice but it works, it does. for a start i know where i am with this entire chap – there’s no disjunction, there’s no incongruous ‘leap’ to some subject unrelated, like some memory of childhood (man i’ve been there done that). this book flows seamlessly.
and sometimes i toy with a definition of reading poetry, the way it kinda relates to the music you like. you listen to albums, you go back to great songs you enjoy, you listen again & again. Super 8 is valid in both ways – there are the poems to go back to; it’s a great album to relax into. this is one small moment from ‘the lesson’:
…yr creamy skin laugh if you want
about it go right
i keep re-reading that short section because the syntactic mixing works really well. i don’t know why, but i love it the subject / formal mix. like a coda where the drums & bass stop & leave a single sound fading out. maybe.
so the book is sexy, erotic & fully deals with you as a reader / viewer. you are in the loop, entering the frame, & so forth. how do you find beauty in certain situations – is it all a way of seeing things, or the way things are seen for you by a camera, by a poet? this – ‘grave loop’ – is beautiful:
these 2 girls
in a coffin
floating in a swimming pool
fucking each other
the smiles the shaky hands…
it is like so many of the other poems, it’s a moment of beauty & vulnerability isolated, taken from super 8 film & made into poetry. all the flaws of bad movies are our flaws, are of our own characters & lusts.
the words throughout are sparse & pared down perfectly: they all perform their own actions. each poem positions you as a outside the moment of film, but wanting in on the moments: “supercharged / both whisper / more” & “drive she sd / no one will see”.
you know what, Richard Lopez is a great poet & though i’ve only read one previous chap, i could say this is book shows a development in his style. i’ll say it anyway. i love Super 8 & i’m going to show it to lotsa people. that’s all there is to it. get a copy.