Friday, September 04, 2009


Photo courtesy of Jacket

It’s not news that Tom Clark & I have not always seen eye-to-eye, tho the attentive reader of my work will note a gushingly positive review by yours truly of Neil Young that appeared in the pages of Rolling Stone in July of 1972, the one time I’ve written about his poetry. In recent years, since New College went belly up, Tom & his wife Angelica have lived quietly in North Berkeley – on the very same block where I used to base my lawn-mowing business as a teenager – and Tom has been writing, mostly poetry. Starting in February, he began to put a lot of it up on a blog, Tom Clark: Beyond the Pale. As of this morning, there were over 290 entries, a vast amount of writing. Of late, he’s also interspersed excerpts from his 1986 novel The Exile of Céline, published originally by Random House.

There are a lot of blogs that publish the poetry of the blog owner, but virtually none of the others are by Tom Clark, a man who has been a master of the post-avant lyric for some four decades that I can remember. And if these are mostly current work – they’re mostly not dated unlike, say, much of Larry Eigner’s verse – it represents an intense outpouring at a time in one’s life when many other poets have tended to drift off into silence. Without even getting into the fact that Clark’s the first NY School poet of his generation to make great use of the web (he’s also a major contributor to the Vanitas blog), it’s well worth checking out at least once a week.


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