TOM BECKETT Reviews
Written 1976–2013 by P. Inman
(if p then q classics, Manchester, UK, 2014)
I’m glad this great block of a book is in the world.
Sometimes, as things which at first blush seem fragile and ephemeral pile up, it becomes apparent that they are the things most obdurate and resistant to the forces that would--if nothing else—ignore (or worse, explain) them.
P. Inman’s poems constitute a bulwark, a place from which to make a stand, made of such obdurate, resistant stuff. These are poems which resist the reader’s expectations. And, I want to say, they are poems which are just plain dogged in their investigation of the materiality of language.
These are poems, too, which ping-pong between opacity and incandescence. Consider this passage from Ocker: A Series for Robert Grenier:
debris cludage briner
girer, rub planchertable pensed space
Now consider this passage from Red Shift (for Joan Retallack):
monied thigh wrapping a highway / any red closed by a chap-ter / insect bite hospital / bends look as apart for a minutedrawn on the Mohawk / opera near an average. statement aspace between trees / (dringe balk) / the ocean glinted dully,the color of an exaggeration / the odds however they happen
This is work which is not easily consumed. That’s what makes it beautiful and worth returning to.
Tom Beckett is trying to finish his novel Appearances. Recently, his journal The Difficulties was archived at Craig Dworkin's Eclipse project:
http://eclipsearchive.org/projects/DIFFICULTIES/difficulties.html He lives in Kent, Ohio.