All too aware of language’s inability to reveal real answers or to calm the cold and hard world we inhabit, in Jargon Brian Clements nonetheless revels in the places where we settle into “language’s sly do-overs,” into meaning-communication, identity, the making of art, religion and its replacements, hoping to emerge from the dark places of the universe (e quindi uscimmo) to see again sunlight. The prose poems in Jargon are haunted by the ghosts of form, rhetoric, narrative, argument–the cultural forms that make the world familiar yet tend to abandon us when we need them most (such as in times of war, or in times of economic collapse). Like its prequel, And How to End It (Quale Press, 2009) this book seems to rise ab nihilo in search of a beginning and an end–a cause and a purpose.

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