Of Stars and Their Limits

My wife and I recently watched HBO’s bold airing of Cormac McCarthy’s The Sunset Limited. Directed by Tommy Lee Jones and written for TV by McCarthy himself, the teleplay stars Jones as “White,” a suicidal Professor of Philosophy, and Samuel L. Jackson as “Black,” a self-professed ex-junky Christian. More

Review: Patricia Spears Jones’ “Painkiller”

Scott Hightower Painkiller, Patricia Spears Jones Tia Chucha, 2010, 978-1-882688-40-1, $15.95 Painkiller is Patricia Spears Jones’ third collection. The Weather That Kills (1995), her first, introduced us to Jones’ consideration of what can happen to joy and decency in a hostile environment. Jones’ Femme du Monde (2006), straddled the Atlantic to explore the destructive trail… More

Review: Catherine Strisik’s, “Thousand-Cricket Song”

Catherine Strisik’s Thousand-Cricket Song is a ceremony. The speaker is supplicant– Please say each skull has a voice, at the same time that she is a brief witness to– a nation of 12 million traumatized people, the survivors and the children of survivors of the Khmer Rouge’s mass killings. Often Strisik’s voice is oracular, though looking not so much forward or backward, but into. It is at other times the voice of an erotically and creatively awake… More

Review: Robert Wrigley’s “Beautiful Country”

Robert Wrigley’s newest book is entitled, Beautiful Country. (It is Wrigley’s eighth book of poems.) The title is drawn from a quote from John Brown, the American insurrectionist. In Brown’s reference to “country,” perhaps he was talking about the countryside of Charlestown, Virginia; perhaps he was talking on a larger scale about the sprawling national identity of the United States, itself. Wrigley, too, likes to work on a terrain that can shift from remote instinct … More