A brilliant new poetic sequence from a leading innovative American poet
Fire Break is a suite of untitled lyric poems which move through a succession of present moments, bringing through the weave both hard-edged engagement and uncommon harmonics. In the mix can be heard messages of desire, physicality, global imbalances, and ultimately, creation.
"George Albon's admirable body of work functions like a musical backbone, bracing us for and facing us into the world." —Forrest Gander
Like Empedocles said, double is the birth of mortal things; -- and amid the oscillations of Love and Strife George Albon tells “the myth in the present tense,” taking lyric stands among the elements an hour before work. Our personal calendars overflow with griefs and attentions George sets to song within these covers. Lacking such doses of “romanticism through the scientism,” the collective heart starves in the “noise and sprawl of willed commerce.” George reminds us yes you can “fold your love in” to universal flow. Thank goodness. —David Brazil
George Albon’s utterly distinct poetry takes us through the tactile labyrinth to show us a “prehensile glimpse/ on the edge of eternity.” Albon constructs a strange and complex world in the fullness of his inquiry: listening with “ears askew,” this poet topples the assumptions with which we typically question and essays a “study of the vanished/ overtaken by intensities.” It takes a poet of exceptional skill and attunement to articulate, amid the world’s chaos, what the rest of us fail even to register. Fire Break is a consummate demonstration of what poetry can do while “inventing/ under/ duress.” —Elizabeth Robinson
“Let melody stand for attachment”—as a phrase it’s a credo and poetics, at once making melos the means and measure of the poet’s relation to his environs. And though George Albon indeed puts language as made thing between observer and world, he does so in order to examine our attachments rather than eschew them. “No sooner written,” he writes, “than contended.” He crafts poems so perceptually rich and critically canny that they everywhere render the complexities of affect coded as music, “resonance merging/ with its being/ struck.” As attuned to “the mercantile/ world working” as to the erotics of “literal skin” Fire Break reminds us of the important Objectivist legacy Oppen and Rakosi left on the West Coast. Few are more their heir than George Albon. —Brian Teare