The Farrar, Straus and Giroux Poetry Blog

April 20, 2008

Sleeping It Off In Rapid City (Part 2)

And now, part two of Maureen McLane's post about August Kleinzahler's new book of selected poems,Sleeping Sleeping It Off in Rapid City (part 1 can be found here and the final section will arrive later today):

Precisely naming. A “sense of where you are” is what Bill Bradley had on the basketball court, according to John McPhee, and that’s what these poems paradoxically offer—paradoxically, because many of these poems seem to distill themselves out of apparent dislocation, a condition which seems to be one true “home” for the Kleinzahlerian adventurer. He puts us in transit—on airplanes; in Vancouver, the Coney Island boardwalk, Cork (Ireland), and what seems to be Amsterdam; cinematically zooming down on couples in a plaza in one city, a hotel in another; elsewhere taking us through the postmodern “no-places” that seem to constitute the spaces and strange hours of certain western travelers.   

--Maureen McLane


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