Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Introduction Never Given

Poets past and present show up frequently in Dan Bouchard's work.

I couldn't resist clipping the following from "A Private History of Books":

"Rare book dealers are the landlords of literature.
Ron Silliman I think is conscious of this price goughing
and someone told me he doesn't sign books but he did
for me once in Philadelphia when I came from Boston
to hear him read with Lyn Hejinian. He walked away from me
inspecting the book and the underlined passages. Finally
he signed it with his e-mail address and not
a signature. The dollar Kropotkin cannot be measured..."

Familiar poetry is also transformed in Dan's work.
Look for the public-poem "American Poetry" on the Buffalo Poetics List.
Or check out Pound's new costume at the beginning of Dan's poem "August":
"And then we burned all the ships
set oil to breakers"

Then there is Dan Bouchard, the poet of nouns and naming.
On the first page of "Diminutive Revolutions" I found:
"mosses, lichens, grasses"
"styrofoam, paper envelopes, paper/towels, paper napkins, paper/cups, cans emptied of vegetables,/soda, soup and beer"
"nuthatch, wren, and woodthrush"
"paper plates, plastic forks, wine/bottles, old clothing, plastic/that wrapped new things"

But it is the "Kropotkins"--the economics and politics in the flesh, the economics and politics newly imagined--that most draw me into Dan's work. A concern for justice and the polis haunts Dan's poems--even poems that seem to be about birding or rare books or literary gossip or children's literature.

With polis in his eyes and vowels, consonants, and puns in his ears...DAN BOUCHARD.