wonderful sustained resonance that rings throughout Das Gedichtete, the new chapbbook by Patrick Dunagan. Whether you hear it with your ears or in some
labyrinthine hallway of the mind, it’s like a tuning fork that was struck on
the concrete floor of a house of mirrors a hundred years ago, or maybe just a minute
ago, but it continues to hum, dialed in to a frequency that causes bubbles to
pop in a dream, which describes a presence I think these poems claim.
I took the
assemblage of these lyrics to be both a meditation and an improvisation upon the
essays in Adorno’s Night Music, which
Dunagan cites as an inspiration, if not a source, or launching pad, for these
hauntingly beautiful songs –
no more real
than the scars
escaping the fact that we are eternally “eavesdropping” on the ventriloquist at
work in this artfully composed collage of largely untitled verses. Dunagan is adept at not only throwing his
voice, but at strumming the language. He
is taking a philosophical vocabulary, monotone and appallingly logical, and is
tickling out a melody. This can at first
seem merely a poetic exercise, later maybe a bit like hotdogging, but at its
core Das Gedichtete is a finely
crafted sequence of events that “Go beyond meaning”. As good a definition of “The Poems” as any.
born into this
Das Gedichtete is published
by Ugly Duckling Presse in an elegant chapbook format and only costs $10.