There are 8 sets of 8 poems. All poems within a set follow the vowel pattern of a particular passage from Shakespeare. They could be called homovocalic translations of Shakespeare though they ignore his content while trying to build toward their own coherence. The sets are not presented in linear succession. Instead, the poems are arranged in a chess pattern, the earliest surviving knight's circuit, attributed to al-Adli ar-Rumi of Baghdad and presumed to date from 840 AD.
Born in Los Angeles, Gale Nelson has lived in Providence since the 1980s. He has taught at Trinity Repertory Conservatory and Brown University where he is Assistant Director of the Department of Literary Arts. Gale Nelson is the author of Ceteris Paribus and Stare Decisis as well as of a number of chapbooks. He is represented in the anthology, 49+1: Nouveaux Poètes Américains, and two of this plays, “Disciplining the Dimes” and “The Undiapered Filefish,” are included in The Joy of Phonetics and Accents by Louis Colaianni. He is also the editor of Paradigm Press.
“...a landscape of structures and variables, carefully recording instances in which language enjambs to the point of crisis and consigns itself to an altered path. Nelson flashes in and out of poetic modes that he is able to rein in from the brink of cacophony and craft into an engaging series of poems.”
—David Harrison Horton, Syllogism
“stare decisis endeavors to explore the inner workings of poetic language, digging into the mechanisms that allow meaning, identity, and understanding to emerge.“
—Susan Smith Nash, Lower Limit Speech
“Nelson has planted his flag on the far edge of new poesie pure, and marked a boundary with fierce energy.“
—Henry Gould, Northeast Journal