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Ghost texts--the overheard conversation, the remembered line, the daily paper--clamor to enter the poems in Michael Davidson's Bleed Through. Here, the page is a plane for working out aesthetic problems, engaging the reader's intellect and love of beauty. Each new word or phrase calls forth another; attentions create their own nimbus of associations. Davidson's poems are a kind of battleground, where larger philosophical questions are grappled with through the sieve of language and form, but they are also a response to the vital use people make of everyday speech. Faced with hearing loss, he questions the acoustical models--voice, ear, rhyme, rhythm, text--upon which poetry depends and takes as his subject the problems and questions of our cultural history.
From "The Second City":
in the second cityI live out the dream of the firstliving neither for its access and glamour
nor dying from its disregardsimply talking towards the twin spiresof an ancient cathedrallike a person becoming like a person
About the Author
Michael Davidson is Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of The San Francisco Renaissance: Poetics and Community at Mid-Century (Cambridge U Press, 1989), Ghostlier Demarcations: Modern Poetry and the Material Word (U of California Press, 1997), Guys Like Us: Citing Masculinity in Cold War Poetics (U of Chicago, 2003). and Concerto for the Left Hand: Disability and the Defamiliar Body (U of Michigan, 2008). His most recent book, Outskirts of Form: Practicing Cultural Poetics was published in 2011 by Wesleyan University Press. He is the editor of The New Collected Poems of George Oppen (New Directions, 2002). He is the author of five books of poetry, the most recent of which is The Arcades (O Books, 1998). He is the co-author, with Lyn Hejinian, Barrett Watten, and Ron Silliman, of Leningrad (Mercury House Press, 1991).