Not Even Then: Poems

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University of California Press, Apr 19, 2004 - Poetry - 81 pages
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Not Even Then, the debut collection by Brian Blanchfield, introduces a poetry both compressed and musically fluid, beseechingly intimate and oddly authoritative. Blanchfield conducts readers through a unique, theatrical realm where concepts and personages are enlivened into action: Continuity, Coincidence, Symmetry, and Shame keep uneasy company there with Marcel Duchamp and Johnny Weissmuller, Lord Alfred Douglas and "Blue Boy" Master Lambton, Juliet’s Nurse and Althusser’s Moses.

With its kinked and suspensive language, Not Even Then draws on the lyric tradition, even as it complicates that tradition’s dualism of self and other. Likeness is always under investigation in the book’s irreducible arrangements of alterity. From "Red Habits": "I imagine the interferences explained / in don’t-think-twice and reverse advice / and by habits for both head and breast / hers and hers as red as mine at chamber check. / We are each herself a further interference." No answer rests unquestioned in its turn; even the book title’s cynicism is challenged by a poetics alive to possibility, where Possibility is—impetuously, ecstatically—companionable. "The listener you are," writes Blanchfield, "the less alone."
 

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Contents

One First Try and Then Another
3
Thirteen Point Three Three
7
Letter to a Silvery Mime in Yellow
9
Ferdinand the Prize
11
Red Habits
13
The Weremen
14
Two Moons
17
Borrowing a Page from Nature
18
Newfoundland and Labrador
48
To Come True a Thing Must Come Second
49
Answer Day
50
Comfort Proviso with Shadow
51
Chances at Kill Devil Hills
52
The Earliest Work of Literary Criticism
57
There Are Fie Deacons
59
String Theory Readymade
61

Refinery
20
If the Blank Outcome in Dominoes Adds a Seventh Side to Dice
21
The Next Landing
22
Chercher
23
From the Selected Burned Letters
26
The Same Question
31
Propeller or Chime
33
Code Orange under Love Part I
34
24Hour Window
36
Ifraction
38
The Endowment Becoming Less an Institution
39
Not of the Heritage Softtail Series
40
Blanch Whiteface to Face
42
Comeuppance Has Hatches
44
Pipe Dream of a Deputy Best Friend
46
Receipt
62
A Whole Host
63
Littleness of Being
65
Even Funnier than Pretending to Do It Is Actually Doing It
66
Velma
68
The Matter with Abjection
70
Less and Less That Is Not a Hotel Anymore
71
Aerozona Water Letter
72
Photograph of without Reference To
73
The Discoverer of Pluto
74
The Living Many Go Down One
77
Some Notes
79
Acknowledgments
81
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Brian Blanchfield teaches in the B.F.A. creative writing program at Pratt Institute of Art. His poems have appeared in such publications as Fence, Ploughshares, Slope, and Volt. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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