Peter Gizzi's new book
negotiates the intersection of artifice and the turbulent
domain of feeling. The book recuperates the concerns of the 11th-century
poets -- the hermetic display of love, politics, statehood, and grief
-- in the present.
Formally the collection is a sampling of lyric history from the troubadours
industrial punk: it sustains the haunting quality of a song heard
from a distance,
overlayed with playground noise, lovers' oaths and cries of loss.
The poems both
celebrate and challenge the spell of the physical world over the imagination,
the gap between embrace and abandonment.
Peter Gizzi was born in 1959 and grew up in Massachusetts. His publications
Periplum (Avec), Music for Films (Paradigm, 1992), and
Hours of the Book (Zasterle).
He has edited the magazine o.blek, the anthology Exact Change
Yearbook, and The
House That Jack Built: The Collected Lectures of Jack Spicer (Wesleyan
"There is a darkness at the heart of Peter
Gizzi's new collection of poems, Artificial
Heart, that is far from artificial. It is the all-too-natural
darkness at the center of being-
there: an originary absence that, as in the myth of Orpheus cannot
be rescued by
representation. Yet it is precisely the poet's task to undertake this
rescue. Gizzi's work
here follows the Orphic path of Spicer and Rilke."
--Andrew Joron, Hambone
"In his visionary quest, his raw emotion, and his New York
school spontaneity, Gizzi
performs a clinamen that relates him to O'Hara, Ashbery, and, beyond
to Rimbaud and Hart Crane.... a master of the mot juste and of sound
Most of the book's poems... are as memorable as they are moving and
--Marjorie Perloff, The Boston Book Review
"This is a valuable collection, both for the issues it raises
and for the simple pleasure
of beautifully crafted language."
--Cole Swensen, The Germ
"A sense of personal displacement has been made into a shared
There's a sensual intelligence working in these poems in which ideas
out of the rich sound of language and its images. These are poems
of space and light,
and also things [like] too many skateboards in the bright California
-Alan Gilbert, Chicago Review
"Artificial Heart is as nimble and full of wit as
it is knowing and 'versed' in poetic
device and literary history. Gizzi employs humor and imagination to
push at the
envelope of rationality obscuring our vision like a cataract."
--John Olson, The Seattle Stranger