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The Banjo Clock

Karen Garthe (Author)

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Paperback, 96 pages
ISBN: 9780520273160
June 2012
$23.95, £16.95
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For Karen Garthe, poetry is a Molotov cocktail. A master of radical invention, Garthe combines brio of conception with linguistic virtuosity, bringing language to new life from the inside at breakneck speed. The Banjo Clock, her second collection, cultivates a luxuriant sensibility even as it interrupts poetic continuity with cuts, ironies, sharp wit, and wild recklessness. In poems that consider poetry itself, Garthe writes about preparing the medium, the ink, “the motion of new utility.” She then turns to America’s psychic maladies and the need to rehabilitate our democracy, now floundering in the glare of TV’s blue depressive light.
Fanta grape
Rid the kitchen
Ikebana
Gorge
Ink Runs
REHAB (we want grace walls)
National sky
Buckle up, Sweetie
Piranesi under The Keystone of A
Eternal Youth
PARTITA Flat-out Mars
To Dolls Big as Clara
Bear
Dolly Loves the Ocean
Little Soulyard, 1
Island of the Judge who kept us
State Fair
First surge Cable
my Liebestod
Frail of a year
Midwest
soldiering PARTITA
Little Soulyard, 2
Sadly, I noticed
Andrew, all bespoke
The Porticos of Toulouse
Porn Guy Idée Fixe
Champagne Blondes/Little Scrap of Irony
The Challenge
59th Street Station
Sweet Thing Theology
To the Cinematographer
High Nouns Shepherd
Speak Revenue
mantra
Solace Ritual
The Dark Dauphine
A Letter from Home To Karen Dalton
Call Sleeping
The Chiffon Artist
Beauty
Mandarin Character, YELLO CROWN
Water Quip
Poem on Velvet & Fire’s Extra Fun
djinns in orbit
14 lines
2 hands writing
Blue Hour
Great Expectations
Great North Primitive Story
Bread Alone
Poem on Velvet, Carnegie Hall
Floating Island
Red Sleep
WIDOW on a train
Outside’s
Baby Krishna crawls to bliss
The Banjo Clock

Acknowledgments
Notes
Karen Garthe is the author of Frayed escort, which won the 2005 Colorado Prize.
“Karen Garthe writes some of the most expert—and tightly-wound—lyric poems you'll ever read. . . . If discussions of the sort Karen Garthe is performing in The Banjo Clock—that is, discussions implicitly sounding out the vagaries of all language—don't really interest you, that's okay: Just stop reading poetry right now, pick up your favorite beach novella, and forget the world's oldest form of literary currency still exists in any appreciable volume. . . . What Garthe is offering today's poetry readers is a reason to read poetry rather than prose, to listen to poetry rather than electronica, to inhabit a verse environment rather than some workaday multimedia environment whose social, economic, and domestic dimensions are as unlikely to educate as they are to inspire. This is phrasal verse whose disjunctions and juxtapositions and seeming compositional meanderings are as alert to humankind's most important transactional commodity—language—as anything else our contemporary culture has invented or unearthed.”—Seth Abramson Huffington Post

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