Saturday, February 21, 2009

Superfecta at CutBank

Josh Robbins has written a kind, elegant, sharp review of Superfecta over at CutBank Reviews. Here's the first paragraph to get you warmed up:

"Every so often one comes across a first book of poems that radically shirks off the normative first book formula which says, “This profound stuff happened to me and I’m going to tell you what it means.” More often than not, the product of the first book equation is a poetry that meets our expectations (however low they may be), but fails to address the urgency of our times. Thankfully we have Clay Matthews’s first full-length collection, Superfecta, to prod and admonish us, to remind us that poetry can have something to say in the face of American vulnerability, mortality, late capitalism, ubiquitous pop-culture clutter, and urban sprawl. And for readers willing to risk betting even just a little time and effort, the payoff they receive will far exceed their meager investment."

Now please go and read the rest of it here, and thank you, thank you, Josh.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Teaching Emerson Teaching Me

"Doubt not, O poet, but persist. Say, 'It is in me, and shall out.' Stand there, baulked and dumb, stuttering and stammering, hissed and hooted, stand and strive, until, at last, rage draw out of thee that dream-power which every night shows thee is thine own; a power transcending all limit and privacy, and by virtue of which a man is the conductor of the whole river of electricity."

--from "The Poet"