In Sight Map Brian Teare blends the speculative poetics of the San Francisco Renaissance with a postconfessional candor to embody the "open field" tradition of such poets as Robin Blaser and Robert Duncan. Teare provides us with poems that insist on the simultaneous physical embodiment of tactile pleasure—that which is found in the textures of thought and language—as well as the action of syntax. Partly informed by an ecological imagination that leads him back to Emerson and Thoreau, Teare's method and fragmented style are nevertheless up to the moment. Remarkable in its range, Sight Map serves at once as a cross-country travelogue, a pilgrim's gnostic progress, an improvised field guide, and a postmodern "pillowbook," recording the erotic conflation of lover and beloved, deity and doubter.
40:57:54 N/76:54L35 W
To Be Two
As if from Letters of Surveyor Samuel Maclay
To Take the House out of Doors
42:53:6 N/71:57:17 W
Theory of Trees
The Word from His Mouth, It Is Perfect
Long After Hopkins
The ravine a canoe,
A type of spine.
Ash, birch, beech, pine.
Errant : Reply.
As being is to begin.
West to dust.
To drag about, to torment, to wallow,
37:48:9 N/122:15:4 W
Sanctuary, Its Root Sanctus
Abandoned Palinode for the Twenty Suitors of June
An Essay to End Pleasure
Brian Teare is the author of the award-winning The Room Where I Was Born, as well as the forthcoming volume Pleasure and two chapbooks. He has received Stegner, National Endowment for the Arts, and MacDowell Colony poetry fellowships.
“[It] leaves a reader awestruck. The volume encourages hope that a new poetry can emerge from the rubble of postmodernism. . . . The book becomes a guidebook to the past and present sources that contemporary poets have to sift through, an excavation and re-forming of our roots.”—Rumpus
“One of the best poetry books I’ve read in many years. This volume leaves you breathless with its force of method and style--a ravishing field guide that takes the love poem to entirely new terrain.”—Minneapolis City Pages
“Pleasure, sonic, linguistic, natural, sexual, and sinful fill this book. Read it for this. Take pleasure in [these] poems.”—Charles Malone The Colorado Review
“Brian Teare's poetry is turning the lyric on its ear. . . . What a brave new voice, livid and gutsy and fresh.”—D. A. Powell, author of Tea and Lunch
“At the heart of this ravishing book about seeing is a distrust of the visionary. Brian Teare engages in a transgressive surveillance of soul and language, love and faith, matter and the immaterial, and the linkages among them. The result is poetry that is formally daring, capacious in eye and mind. These poems are splendid and dirty prayers, fierce accomplishments in our disorienting times.”—Rick Barot, author of Want
“In these formally precise poems, Brian Teare explores the distances between the lover and the beloved, between the image and the word, between God and prayer, between the seen and unseen. By turns lyric and stuttered, and in many cases spoken from a Cartesian epistemological ground zero, these poems reach with urgency and passion toward a knowledge both impossible and necessary—and therein lies their deep humanness. This is a stunning and complex book.”—Jane Mead, author of The Usable Field
“If it is the human condition to leave the 'mind / unanswered,' then Brian Teare knows how to make solace from the erotic textures of both doubt and its ensouled cousin: the unknowing we experience as wonder. Teare redefines transcendence in these complexly melodic poems so that 'poised at / the lip of spillage, each image trembles as it's written.' Here language is the consummate lover: lush, tactile, lithe, and responsive. The interchange between poet and lover, utterance and uncertainty is a confession: 'I desire / something / neither received nor seen.' The fractured world nurtures a mystery so compelling that it makes 'each mind to itself creation come crawling / matter out of nothing.'”—Elizabeth Robinson, author of The Orphan and Its Relations