Publishers Weekly, 1995-11-27 The seven parts of this inconsistent, largely autobiographical collection, do not make a whole larger than their sum. The first section, ``Happy Talk,'' which is too long by half, consists of 14-line pieces that are not so much sonnets as they are pointillist poemsæwhen read through quickly, they can spark a hint of ennui over growing up or a cloudy connection between the elements and the human spirit; looked at closely, they comprise disjointed thoughts. The poems about childhood in ``Torn From an Old Album'' are presented with heartfelt and concrete imagery. ``Joe'' is an unremarkable elegy for the artist Joe Brainard. The poems in ``Reflections'' incorporate prosaic and longer lines and include the collection's most thought-out pieces. The prose poems of varying length in ``Heraldic Emblem'' are followed jarringly by entry into the world of Anne Boleyn (``Early Tudor Court Poems''), where there is no shortage of severed heads scattered among the stanzas. In the final piece, the prose work called ``Confessions,'' Clark (Sleepwalker's Fate; Junkets on a Sad Planet) traces his coming of age in mid-century, his studies in England and his practice of poetry and politics,in the company of Ted Berrigan and others, in the U.S. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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