Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Ryo Yamaguchi

Learn that name, my friends, as it is beginning to pop up everywhere. He's got poems in Tin House, Diagram, Blackbird, and 42opus.

Here's what I love about his poetry: He tends to write in a colloquial, conversational style that is unassuming and not at all confrontational. Yet, the images the words build have a tendency to be both startling and a little perverse. In fact, only in the realm of poetry does a dialogue like this not seem absolutely bananas.

It works like this, you see a screaming nut in the park yelling about how bear-like he is, you aren't shocked into considering what he is saying. You just think, crazy. But with Ryo's approach, you made to take a more intimate role in the situation. The bear-man isn't an other, he's you.

Here's what I'm trying to say: Ryo's poems are scary, explicit, epic and ridiculously romantic, but anywhere else, he's just plain crazy.

Thank God for poems...and nuts.

1 comment:

Faux Trixie said...

Ryo Yamaguchi is amazing. He and I were in the same writing program as undergrads, and I've always respected his work. He obviously made a successful career out it, while I'm still an amateur. I'm thrilled to see his work is becoming more popular. If you ever meet him, ask him about the short story he wrote about two emotions playing bocce on the jersey shore. Amazing.