FIGURES FOR A DARKROOM VOICE
by Noah Eli Gordon & Joshua Marie Wilkinson
with images by Noah Saterstrom
Tarpaulin Sky Press
Poetry. 5.5" x 7", 94 pages
Ships October 1, 2007
In FIGURES FOR A DARKROOM VOICE the rhetorical twisting of Noah Eli Gordon's abstractions meld with the ominous narratives of Joshua Marie Wilkinson's fragments, turning Wallace Steven's notion of a supreme fiction toward a supreme friction, one where the work of these two poets is fused into a voice as singular as it is sinister. Imagine a gallery in which Cornell boxes talk back, a Maya Deren film in which the audience dissolves into projector light, a Philip Glass composition played exclusively on medieval weaponry, such are the compelling results of this collaborative work.
In prose poems, syntactically elusive sonnets, and haunting, haiku-like fragments illuminated by the ink drawings of Noah Saterstrom, one encounters a recurring cast of logically-skewed images, inauspicious yet arresting aphorisms, and characters rendered fully bizarre in the lightest of brushstrokes. Here, the slippage and disruptions of textually investigative work collides with the mind-expanding project of conjuring paradox, while never quite leaving linearity behind. When these poets write, "I am trying to draw you a simple picture of explanation," one realizes the monumental nature of such a task. And this task is made more complex, and ultimately more rewarding, by the inclusion of Noah Saterstrom's dynamic images. "Who," Gordon and Wilkinson ask, "operates the levers in this darkroom dress-shop?" Who, indeed! The rich history of literary collaboration just got richer.