Like Photo-realism in
painting, these texts look deceptively like a return to
representation until we realize that what is represented is already
an image. They
invite the reader to collaborate in investigating our notions of reality
of language. A sense of melancholy (balanced by a teasing playfulness)
the book and gives it its distinctive complexity.
Tom Mandel books include of poems, including
Four Strange Books (Gaz Press)
and Some Appearances (Jimmy's House of Knowledge). He was born
in Chicago and
now lives in Washington D.C.. His various jobs included heading the
at San Francisco State University (1978-79).
"This book both attracts and baffles me. The prose works are
filled with a shadow play of strain about the oblique relation of
language and reality.
The cool grief-stricken implacability of this is distinctive. Mandel's
play with words
says one can barely face the world of things, much less the world
of language in
which to try to reponds or record."
--Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Sulfur
"The poetry bursts with an infectious desire to leave nothing
out. Relentless excursions
out of our familiar 'monochromatic desert of grasp' into the domain
"The world, as refracted through the lens of Tom Mandel's poetry,
takes on the
singularity of a new kind of order. His voice is fresh, astringent
compelling. He is a dynamic presence."
"Mandel is negotiating the passage that opens between Dickinson
and Whitman ...
to explore registers of American English long laid aside by most other
poets. The poems are both the philosophy as poetic composition Wittgenstein
for and the American music of a particular time and place. Each of
the poems is an
annunciation, audible information, directive and electric."
--A.L.Nielson, Washington Review
"a teasing tangle of semantics and poetics.
While not readily comprehensible,
nonetheless aurally sensible and diverting. A verbal romp for readers."
"The part (or fragment) reverberates. In its reverberation,
the heart sounds to the
world; heart and world are held together in sound, in the vibrations
of sound which
is the vibration of correspondence. The point is not newness, but
to bring us into