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Publishers Weekly, 2005-03-07 Those unfamiliar with the actual verse of septuagenarian Jargon Society founder Williams will be surprised at how consistently funny it is, but not at its sophistication. Williams's press, based in his native North Carolina, has long been associated with the Black Mountain school of Olson-Creeley-Levertov, but Williams was also the first to bring out a collected edition of major modernist Mina Loy. Pared down from 1,450 works over 55 years, this selection features jaunty dances through naughty woods ("David Hockney/ met a most ravissant Cockney// with, mirabile dictu,/ no cock to hang onto!"), jokes to and about Ezra Pound, selected listings from the Western Carolina Telephone Company phone book, limericks, "meta-fours" (poems in which each line has four words), a poem for each Mahler symphony and acrostics using the names of friends like Guy Davenport, with some pauses to take dictation in the form of found poems: "LADIES AND GENTLEMEN WILL NOT/ AND OTHERS MUST NOT/ PULL THE FLOWERS IN THIS GARDEN." By the end of the book, it becomes clear that Williams can make a verse out of whatever's at hand; the result is a kind of commonplace book for a life lived, with wry but inextinguishable enthusiasm, in the company of artists and arts. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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