Rogue Hemlocks

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African-American and a native of the South, poet Carl Martin's literal and figurative Brit Vernacular asks of its reader nothing less than a total ignorance of expectation. These poems, coming after a long silence - Martin's first book, the acclaimed Go Your Stations, Girl, appeared in 1991, and his second, Genii Over Salzburg, in 1998 - engage Romantic tropes such as Vision, Beauty, and the Self cheek-by-jowl with a Pop madness and a Modern despair, all in a high cadence that is winkingly isolate, stunningly productive.Martin's allusions and affinities are to and with Olympians of aesthetic conduct: Tolstoy, Maxfield Parrish, Jean Genet, Maeterlinck, Kate Moss, Peter Pan, the Green Man. That's a sprinkle of rice in the air, a small fountain/ ingrained in the brain. Some glee in a philosophy/ of interference between world and self. Objects/ Flee, bolting and coursing in the wide green field. These lines are marbled through with the Real, and buffed by an apprehension so alert to Unreality as to be downright illuminating.