The Kindness Colder Than the Elements
Under the sop to Cerberus
The calculating brain calculated his death
Went over the moon
Just like the moron cow
His milk was the kindness
Higher but colder than the elements.
With wit and cunning, Noble’s poems insinuate themselves intothe mediations of “we use language” / “language usesus,” into the objectification of “mind,” into thestruggles and cracking of systems. Cuing on Hegel’s epochalrevitalization of the syllogism, they begin withsentences-cum-arguments that issue from an everyman's intentionsand insights, playing into and baiting the “sociality ofreason.” In the cut-up sentences then come the restless,accelerated themes—themes that exist only in their variations,ghosting into one another like the dusk and the dawn in a winging,distended now.
Noble shifts from low to high, demotic to intellectual, with ease, bringing to bear a wide ranging knowledge of history, myth, sociology, and politics. Pushing against conventions, especially those associated with traditional lyric stance and speech, this highly allusive piece of writing is full of simple and complex puns. As I read, I wanted to know more to follow the peregrinations of this interesting mind in action.
These are poems that play with and in language, take pleasure in the sounds of words, poems that are propelled by puns. Yet even with this priority of sound and language, there are tender moments when the language does more than delight in itself, as though it has stumbled across lyric meaning accidentally.
divides his time between Banff and Nobleford, Alberta. His most recent
books are Sally O: Selected Poems and Manifesto (Thistledown
press, 2009) and Death Drive Through Gaia Paris (University of
Calgary Press, 2007). He won the Writers Guild of Alberta poetry award
for his collection Wormwood, Vermouth, Warphistory
(Thistledown Press, 1995).
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