Barone, Dennis

Dennis Barone - Parallel Lines



In the UK, available only direct from Shearsman Books.

Dennis Barone - Parallel Lines

Paperback, 84pp, 8.5x5.5ins

Download a PDF sampler from this book here.

I have organized Parallel Lines somewhat chronologically. There are stylistic (not thematic) groupings which break the chronology and there are repetitions, such as a number of "breath" poems, which go counter to the breaks and provide connections. The longest poem, 'Scarf', wanders and a scarf, as you know, can be wrapped around anything, any subject. Or a scarf can be comforting, keep you warm, or make you fashionable. Or it might be used by the magician for conjuring acts. For me in writing 'Che Tempo', one of the shortest poems in Parallel Lines, I heard in my head Marcello Mastroianni and a sort of post-war angst in the midst of la dolce vita. Picture Marcello in an empty piazza — piazza vuota — cigarette in hand, staring pensive but nowhere in particular, watching some birds in the near distance maybe, wondering perhaps when a few friends will return, slowly smoking that cigarette. I have never smoked, but I understand their semiotic utility. A man and a woman go out somewhere, sometime — probably late, later than I would ever consider going out (I must stay home so that I may write this). The man and the woman say nothing, but they have their cigarettes to occupy them, to close the canyon between them. They stare and inhale and exhale and say nothing. Now everything has changed. They must speak but this guarantees nothing. Before there may have been something to do, but now they are so desperate for something to do because they still have nothing to say. Here, you see, is an opportunity for the poet — dappertutto. Parallel Lines proceeds directly from page one to its end sans the numbered sections of so many contemporary books. When it's done, something remains. —Dennis Barone


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