by Will Edmiston
98 pages / 1 illustration
8 x 5.25 inches
soft cover, $20 (US)
multi-urinal twilit sea/
Edmiston’s words emerge out of the concrete. Like the myth of the sculptor who frees the figure from the stone, Light Demolition works in relief. Uncovered from the initial assertion of “this”, to the final charge of that (“change ending forms”), its subtle destruction reveals what beach lies under this paving stone. Pull back and see the constellation gently bolstered by its negative space with some clouds over there. Look closely and the glass particles turn to glitter at the scene of a car accident. A borrowed line from a poet or an ad for spiritual breathwork become the raw material leadened in the linguistic transmutation while on a walking tour between a glass tower and a superfund site. We will find Edmiston dismantling, here, in the gutter of obstruction and use. In Light Demolition, when the narrative takes hold the lines run off. It is not an epic poem, and besides, you would underestimate it that way. But Light Demolition is as likely a melodious hymn for walking or a gross spiritual inspirational, kaleidoscopic and fragmented in negation. You might ask, “what is it?” If, and when, it does, light demolition opens and clears the space. If, and when, it doesn’t, it is a poem of the peripatetic, concussed by the contemporary time.
Sometimes as poets we worry the audience may demand only the purest crystallizations of language. This book somehow provides for this sensation over and over. Words would seem to attach themselves to Will Edmiston’s body and his disentanglement down onto the page becomes part and parcel of the melody itself. Reading through this book I felt surrounded by collapsible structures I could both see through and live inside of. Even on the brink of coming apart this poetry always provides a foothold, “the source in forms/ hire bins with/ a little green overhead.” I hear shades of Steve Carey, Larry Eigner, Joanne Kyger, Stacy Szymaszek, the great Arlo Quint, before being suddenly swept out, past any recognizable spirit or measure, where only mythic landscape remains. “The chimes/grind wind.” We should be grateful they were blown apart and left so far flung, now collected as Light Demolition.
Will Edmiston’s poems, largely written in a landscape of changing Brooklyn, have a habit of demolishing themselves. The birds in the “full brown sky” desolve into fading typeset. The poems are a lake reflecting the landscape they settle and melt into exactness. From the racket “above the metal bar” [pun intended] comes a source of play, sadness, and various forms of light. Nothing is ever settled here - but should you need it, there is beauty to guide you.
...amazing weird and full of light demolition...everything sideways is also omnidirectional...great subway read too, which is the fucking litmus of eternity...