Disfortune is not in the mainstream of American poetic speech, nor is it easily placed into any of the well-known poetic speech-camps that have arisen on its margins. Terse, haunting lyrics expose the irreducible contradictions of living, wherein "the talking-singing, the whole talking-/singing ball of yarn, begins to unravel." Deceptively casual in tone, these poems offer startling confrontations with "the unoriginal/oblivion," with "the contrived delicacy/of what is emptied and kept." Joe Wenderoth sees "fortune" as the mute history of events proceeding toward the ultimate security; his poems arise from "disfortune," from the need "Just to sing the song that's kept you/quiet/all this time." This book is a rare occurrence, marking not only a new intimacy with the world, but also a remembering of the determined motion of intimacy itself.
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Published August 1, 1995
Literature & Fiction.