Vertical Elegies: Three Works
Publisher: Ugly Duckling Presse (1900)
From Publishers Weekly:
Truitt's quietly ambitious three-part book moves confidently through three distinctive modes. The first section, The Song of Rasputin, inspired in part by a biography of that Satanic, alcoholic, messianic, neurotic, erotic, mad, dissolute, Siberian love-machine cleric, employs a full range of Ashberyan devices—non sequiturs, surrealist absurdity and bathos, slippery personae, references to the poem's own unfolding: I want my life back. Father, infused with feeling that is a portion/ of color, sense, swathes of the vibrational band like the ribbons of the maypole./ How bare it had looked all winter standing on the parade ground topped by snow. Raton Rex, a sequence in 40 40-line poems written one per day, is a free-associative conglomeration of ephemeral impressions arrayed as two columns of clipped phrases. Falltime is a free-wheeling collage of the poet's notebooks during his many trips to France. The disorder of a traveler's impressions is expressed by the typesetting itself; paragraphs are printed right atop one another, making some sections totally illegible. By turns obscene and elegant, meandering and fragmented, Truitt's work is both highly attentive to words themselves and to the things and people they signify. Decidedly experimental, this book may not be for everyone, but there is much for those willing to give it the patience it demands. (Sept.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Sam Truitt's landmark work of contemporary poetry, VERTICAL ELEGIES: THREE WORKS consists of the long poem 'Song of Rasputin,' the 40-day poetic chronicle 'Raton Rex,' and the multi-layered concrete poem 'Falltime.' "Sam Truitt's poems have a don't-stop-me-now-I'm-almost-there urgency to them. He has always been disposed to the book-length rather than the page-length poem. He has no patience for the voice's removal from the scene--the language he seems destined to sing holds too much hubris, speed, and childlike wonder to hold back. Instead, cunning formal maneuverings provide the distance and displacement needed to rattle the teeth of syntax and alter the current beat. As a reader, one gets caught up in the frenzy. There is the pleasure of verbal abandon and the reassurance of visual control. There is the perpetually keyed-up anticipation of anything-could-happen-here..."--C.D. Wright.