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Sunday March 28, 2010 in Books
sublingual is perhaps the most highly structured yet of bissett’s “textual visions.” Its first seven poems construct a Genesis, beginning with a poem of birth—our pre- or sub-lingual first breath, a phenomenological gesture of recognition, of both being and belonging, in and of the world.
The second poem moves immediately to the political, calling for the conviction of Bush and his cabinet for war crimes with no possibility for parole, (the last word a pun on the French parole, putting the issue beyond discussion [and locating the politics among bissett’s Norman ancestors]).
The third poem presents love as an affirmation, the bringing of a gift from the world to the beloved, independent other; the fourth reveals life to be both a physical and a spiritual growing out into the world, our “way” is to be toward something better. Fifth in this opening sequence is a concrete, sound, visual performance piece, a powerful gesture of pure breath or spirit built around the sounds “emerald” and “d[h]arma,” the “h,” bpNichol’s favorite letter, once again [as in French] a silent expulsion of breath.
The next two poems, like the fifth, are set in the urgency of bold type. The sixth interrogates the uniquely human phenomenon of retrospection and asks: what does it hurt, what does it heal; the seventh returns to the Buddhist/Nietzschean discipline of a life dedicated to overcome the death-rattle we hear in our lungs as we draw our first and every breath.
Following this short creation story, the book proceeds to unfold in luminous and lucid delight to reveal the relationship between “langwage n desire,” and teaches us to get our feet wet and walk the talk: “feet don’t talk or dew they,” receding in a cascade of smaller and smaller “type.”
ISBN 13: 9780889225893 | ISBN 10: 889225893
6 W x 9 H x 0.5 D inches | 160 pages
$18.95 CAN / $18.95 US
Backlist | Poetry | Bisac: POE011000
About the Contributorsbill bissett
bill bissett’s charged readings, which never fail to amaze his audiences, incorporate sound poetry, chanting and singing, the verve of which is only matched by his prolific writing career—over seventy books of bissett’s poetry have been published. whether paying tribute to his hometown lunaria or exercising his native tongue dissent, bissett continues to dance upon the cutting edge of poetics and performance works.
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.