Ascension Days (Paperback)
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"What a strange and intense book this is David Blair has a wild, restless imagination and he uses language like saw, a hammer, a velvet whip. He can write incredibly tender (and original) love poems and enfilading satirical poems, as well as many of the many other "kinds" of poems between those poles, and they all seem entirely at home, indeed, need to be in this book together. His music, his diction, his refusal to use (ever ) cliches, his syntax all drive his poems and their hearts forward. That is where his poems go: forward. He will be in the company of the best poets of his generation." --Thomas Lux "Nothing can remain horizontal or vertical for long" might as well be David Blair's mini ars poetica. A commitment to the pleasures and terrors of change, you might say. I have been reading Blair's poems for about ten years now--struck always by his unique pitch and tone, the tensile muscularity of his syntax and vibrational accents. His diction is totally unboxed. He reminds me a bit of August Kleinzahler or John Yau in this--a karaoke of urban hullabaloo sung slightly off the beat, all for the sake of swing....David Blair's acceptance of the world is signaled by his stylishness, provoked by the people and things he encounters. His brain knows that it's living in an animal body. And it moves among all these other minds and bodies in motion. Changed by the smallest of changes. Unbalanced but at ease. This poet's energy reminds me of Edwin Denby's comments about De Kooning's paintings from the 1930s: "He wanted everything in the picture out of equilibrium except spontaneously all of it...a miraculous force and weight of presence moving from all over the canvas at once." These poems wantthat, too. --David Rivard, /Boston Review/ "David Blair's work is both public and discreet, somewhere between black box theatre and a blind date with an utterly beguiling stranger. His poems are dinner parties, intimate and sumptuous, arranged with great care and yet full of unforeseen turns: the pope gives way to 'the first red coils of the peonies' and a the hair of a lost aviator becomes 'brown, fibrous light.' How refreshingly unlike contemporary poetry this book is; a pleasure. --D. A. Powell
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