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Tuesday January 19, 2016 in Books
Throughout these poems is a meeting of obscene or politically charged material, as well as commentary on language usage under extreme circumstances of duress such as the Arab Spring. This is poetry written in conditions of wartime. The title implies an analogy between Ezra Pound, imprisoned at Pisa after World War II, and the inhabitants of the military or CIA prisons at Guantánamo Bay.
Poems cross the page or are more architectural, in tight columns, or curve like a cyberpunk office tower. Entire continents are leaped across in a line or two: “from Burquitlam Plaza to Redondo Beach metro stop/Bush with Burqas for the B.U.” but written in a city where bus drivers fix their trolley lines, and Squamish is a place you drive to, in your imagination, during a job interview conducted over the phone.
Place, in this poetry, is both a name (but whose name? the colonizer? First Nation? mall developer?) and a root grows in one’s popular culture as the only way to recognize the war machine (“why cadence weapon left Friendster/why the Flava Flav transformer twins’re buck-toothed”). A final word on style: Burnham’s language is compressed like an MP3 file (one of the worst music files, notoriously).
ISBN 13: 9780889229792 | ISBN 10: 0889229791
5.5 W x 8.5 H inches | 112 pages
$17.95 CAN / $17.95 US
Backlist | Poetry | Bisac: POE011000
QUOTES OF NOTE
Praise for Smoke Show:
“Billed as a novel, Smoke Show reads like a verse play, one comprising elegantly concise dialogues among woefully inarticulate, tragically maladapted, and often inebriated adults … Burnham is pitch-perfect all the way through.”
– Publishers Weekly
Praise for The Only Poetry That Matters:
“An idiosyncratic fresh angle on a well-travelled topic”
– Canadian Literature
About the ContributorsClint Burnham
Clint Burnham is widely published as a critical theorist, poet, and author of books on digital culture. Burnham is an associate member of the SFU Department of Geography and a member of SFU’s Centre for Global Political Economy. He is a founding member of the Vancouver Lacan Salon.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.