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In Rattle and Numb: Selected and New Poems 1992-2019, John Burroughs has chosen some very strong pieces that propel the reader through a life-arc, while artfully revealing the person behind the poetry. His trademark wordplay is evident throughout, as in Ataraxis be bloom/be lilt/be boom/be wilt and Out (Not Fade Away) But in spite of it I wrote on/rode on/right on/wry dawn/rite yawn. Classic Burroughs poems--John Cage Uncaged and Engaged, Low Kay Shun, Lens-- anchor the narrative, while new and newer poems create fresh mythologies, tackle the facelessness of Facebook, brood over the flow of rivers into Lake Erie, promise flaming postcards/from the conflagration. Rattle and Numb is both, and neither; it is a confessional collection that promises and delivers to whomever it may concern.
Dianne Borsenik, author of Raga for What Comes Next, publisher at NightBallet Press