DA Powell’s ‘Chronic’
Saw the supremely gifted poet DA Powell at USC this week, and cannot get over the fact that this unassuming man has now written four of the best volumes of poetry in our times, and is still writing them. Now reading ‘Chronic,’ the newest one, currently nominated for a National Book Critics Circle award for best poetry book of the year, and it’s as beautiful as anything he’s ever written. What I like about him is his long line–he wrote his first book, Tea, sideways on a legal pad, seeing how long he could go with a line and still maintain its integrity. I love his directness, love the challenges he sets himself–in Chronic, the title of each poem either starts or ends with a C. Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? Because it opens up the unconscious, where all the good stuff is.
in the stanley kubrick movie of your life, you are an isolated man
going slowly mad in the drunken pillory of the snow
chasing a little version of your self with an axe
because that’s what every hour is doing: chasing you