Virgil and the Mountain Cat (New California Poetry, Volume 25)
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At once uncompromising and highly inventive, David Lau's poems are imbued with a musicality that lightens the dark undertones of spoliation and entropy. Many of the poems embody a nexus of interaction with historical events, films, modernist poetic texts, and works of art—but from this allusion and evocation, a multifarious voice emerges. In these pages, the electric linguistic experiment meets a new urban, postnatural poetics, one in which poetry is not just a play of signs and seemings but also a prismatic investigation of our contemporary order: "Hurry up before our factory leaves. / The first column of the Freedom Tower / traduces its ensorcellment in the facade." Here is a poetry both deeply lyrical and resistant, a poetry relentless in its invention and its stance against the apathy of convention and consumption.
Archiving Machine They won’t follow unless you pour concrete. The chasms deep in red valley —what could we help to destroy us? The stomped hail knifed alone, its palm like a sail farmed at sea: whitecap, bellyroll. To counter the structural fragment the manganese violet torch tore invisible wake out, the light of these seas captive of faraway days like Myers, the clerk remotely from Yellow, while unfocused—but brighter, now comelier stigma— the post unfurthered a glide that half whistled, in a
leave. One went in. Many Jasons. At some point Orpheus was on that upside-down boat beneath the bridge, but now, through its hull (some planks missing), the ancestral bricks shimmer. Rare is their tide. 14 Absolute, The Well? Nothing. Fig wasps make rapid detour talk about thinking: He has partitioned the grocer with priors. Gut furnishings defanged the froideur the lag summitted in thrown space plus force at fault don’t change a vivid square crisped by a quake gasp, neutron star take away
23 Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Film History is two blue jars traveling in opposite directions. They will reach each other’s one-man-gypsy-band tongue. They will reach each other. Tuft-bright grass crops up and down on us. It’s in the ﬁlm about ﬁsherman and excrement. And a year passed us postcards, trefoils, munched diadems, with a silk of mud in its hair. A cry from the cliff is only the smith. I had stayed. I had to. The sound is full of spruce needles. They ﬂange the shoal. Above, below the
words (& i.e. etc. / CSPN e.g. Enron found in the anthology of aging aleatory broadsides), our hundred-spoke limo wheels, worked for two months in the Plaza Centre, an Irvine Co. strip mall. Winded, changed, sexual difference made how we are San Diego glow-bulge red snapper. Pugnacious November. Spieling a cackle for ﬂute—asterisk—Iron 26 dawn two weeks earlier. Awful arcing calla spathe most not alive, I wasn’t afraid to die, insensate, drugged, high and the last Levi’s plant barred its doors
fan variable dirt summer. Grape mask of wire rim glass of. Nation bracelet case for a tire. Open nerve at moth torso. Bee broke in: news. Candle Corporation of America. 43 Heroes of Our America A dumped truck of pigeons ﬂocked to the carrefour; we couldn’t continue on with one ﬂat ﬁre. At home, trade winds around the harbor, wheelchairs. Previously I could see many faces hammering the submerged chair deeper. The next two, we said, are the last two exits for the decentralized cargo. Pining, in