Ring of Fire

Lisa Jarnot, Author
Lisa Jarnot, Author Zoland Books $13 (80p) ISBN 978-1-58195-030-4
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With a knack for pathos and zeugma, Jarnot brings forth the sure lyric voice her collagist debut, Some Other Kind of Mission, promised. Lifting its title from the gospels, from Johnny Cash's hit and from the sensation some feel before giving birth, Jarnot's winning second collection hypnotically meditates on love, fire, left and right coast flotsam, animals and other detritus of the imagination: ""That curiously I miss the sound of rain pounding on the roof and also all of Oakland, that I miss the sounds of sparrows dropping from the sky, that there are sparks behind my eyes, on the radio, and the distant sound of sand blasters, and breakfast, and every second of it, geometric, smoke from the chimney of the trees where I was small."" Jarnot is as much a student of the zigzags and category errors of the New York School as of the straightforward collocations of horrors and pleasures of the Beats, and she covers the waterfronts of San Francisco and Oakland with respect for abject populations and a love for gaudiness that recalls everybody from Lou Reed and Bob Dylan to Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Yet the overriding note is a mournful clarity, especially in poems like ""Brooklyn Anchorage,"" ""The Age of the Velocipede"" and ""The Specific Incendiaries of Springtime."" Along with Lee Ann Brown, Kristin Prevallet and Eleni Sikelianos, Jarnot is taking the New York of Bernadette Mayer and Eileen Myles further into its future. (Feb.)
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