Friday, March 16, 2007

Review of Joe Massey's November Graph

Sandman’s Review of Joseph Massey’s November Graph

Chapbook Available at


Connect the Dots…Today, my ex-boyfriend called me a “Media Whore” for publishing a poem in a magazine for which he has no respect. November Graph is dedicated to “Shannon.” I wish it were dedicated to me. It will become a sensation, a collector’s item, and how I wished to be a small part of its genisis.


November Graph is sitting on the edge of something—a antique chair with a red velvet cushion. It’s a car with two wheels on one side of the cliff and two wheels on the other: “toward / a row / of eucalyptus.”


Phenomenology can be disappointing when put into hands that cannot craft the hands that craft them. This is not an example. The white space is carving a place for the world to shatter the world. Listen:


half a humming-

bird’s body
swallowed by

one of the few
fuchsias left.

Which makes me think: Speech slurs. Birds swerve. Words are swallowed. We say what the world cannot. The body is only ever half the body. Half-life-- and so the world moves forward, edges, off the cliff.


And then there is the fact that “words / occur / to gather.” Why so much buzzing in these poems that are so un peopled. I mean the buzzing language of the world devoid of nature that is the nature it comes to. This buzzing that is carved out of the white space. The foliages “flinch (es)” and that is human. The house is abuzz with the music of the world and it moves—no, it “sifts” out—over the world.


Make sense now of this:

Robert Creeley “Hanging on the weather’s edge…” The epigraph to Massey’s little book. An animal torn from the fog. Go little book.

1 comment:

Tony said...

Massey didn't send me a November Graph. I think he doesn't like me anymore.