Terminal Diagrams: Poems

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Garrick Davis's Terminal Diagrams may have been inspired by the illustrated maps in airport lounges, or perhaps they are the blueprints of the Apocalypse, with their subjects and objects representing the bitter fruits of either some future nightmare or the present world. Regardless, their vision is so bleak and unsparing, only a few will be able to savor them. Here, the art of poetry has been mechanized just as the world has been mechanized. Whether his subject is a car accident on the freeways of Los Angeles or the Book of Revelation transmitted by television, Davis's stanzas conjure a kind of futuristic noir. In poem after poem, he examines the artistic possibilities of the machine, and its alterations of human experience, with a modern spirit that-as Baudelaire defined it-has embraced the sublimity and monstrousness of something new.