The Odicy, Cyrus Console’s second book, uses pentameter in an attempt to take the measure of our epoch’s cultural and ecological crises. Tracking a mysterious central character named Tony, the book combines the end-time rhetoric of contemporary fundamentalism with meditations on artificial color and the rise of fountain drinks, revisiting Dante’s animus for the counterfeiter upon the purveyors of NutraSweet. It attempts to come to terms with social continua on which sugar substitutes are manufactured by pharmaceutical giants, or where weaponized defoliants like Agent Orange evolve into bestselling agrichemicals like Roundup. Console’s English is straight out of 21st century Topeka, while his deployment of canonical meter posits the sustainability of verseform over a longer human term.
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Published September 1, 2011
Literature & Fiction.