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Andrew Zawacki, Masquerade

Masquerade is the record of an itinerary through central Australia, a placeless place that affirms itself in Heraclitus’ claim that “the world likes to hide.”  A series of 26 enigmatic prose poems—an elemental alphabet, or half the sections of “Song of Myself,” as though the consciousness here were divvied up among the desert’s flora and fauna—the volume throws its gaze on those phenomena the highway frames, from a mountain that won’t appear in a photograph to revenants who render the most discreet of natural features, air and the light itself, visible.

“These elegant poems bear the attention of a great bird of prey, with a large territory, and an eye that can account for every twig whether it stirs or not. The vocabulary that matches this act of attention is both seductive and severe. There is so much riding on the language the page can barely contain it. There is in the same frame, a timeless languor to this writing. Revelations enter subtly; the rest is articulated by a startling presence.”  —C.D. Wright

Andrew Zawacki is the author of the poetry books Petals of Zero Petals of One (Talisman House), Anabranch (Wesleyan), and By Reason of Breakings (Georgia). Coeditor of VerseThe Verse Book of Interviews (Verse), and Gustaf Sobin’s Collected Poems (Talisman), he also edited Afterwards: Slovenian Writing 1945-1995 (White Pine). He edited and co-translated Aleš Debeljak’s Without Anesthesia: New and Selected Poems (Persea), and his translation of Sébastien Smirou, My Lorenzo, is due from Burning Deck.

2001. 34pp. ISBN 0957837860.

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