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Friday, June 02, 2006

Deviant Propulsion: Devaney on CAConrad's new book 

CAConrad’s book Deviant Propulsion published by Soft Skull this spring is an unapologetic, curative, black magic book.

Deviance for CAConrad is survival; deviance is an act of faith: a religion against religions; it’s a private, vulnerable deviance distinct from the grand malevolent brand. There is something loving and lonely about Conrad’s deviance. His poems propel deviancy--his deviancy--into the poetry. In a country that wrongly casts poets and poetry itself as deviant Conrad's poems here are unflinching. That is, the poems are not about deviancy, each in its own artful way, is an act of deviancy itself.

Here are some lines from Conrad's powerful poem “Exit as Real Journey to All Friends,” (I am quoting mid-poem here):

we are
dirt
don’t
worry turn us
inside out

lemon slice
too small to remember
the tree

growls
from mirror
resemble
mother

open the
sleep they
mail us


pleased and
open


poem
lowering
from
air where
air gives


“we
must be
up inside
the cyclone”
so says Dorothy
engine’s
large ingestion
of birds

compass not
working in
outer space
where
endless
mazes home are
some stories

And the poem end:

you are
the first
i’d call if
poetry didn’t
exist

battering
walls of
flesh the
heart

--Tom Devaney

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