Author: Edmund Berrigan
Publisher: City Lights (2019)
A scion of the New York School, Edmund Berrigan grew up in and around poetry. The follow up to Can It!, his well-received memoir, More Gone is his first full-length collection in a decade. Written in a distinctive mix of New York quotidian and post-Language abstraction, More Gone documents the poet's search for domestic tranquility amidst the city that never sleeps. Berrigan draws on a variety of materials, from songs to found language, assembling them into poems of oblique humor and wry perspective on the challenges of everyday existence. These poems aren't anecdotes or confessions so much as objects in their own right, even as they remain rooted in a recognizable urban landscape: "Mostly, the city is begging for love, grieving, / or telling us to back the fuck off."
"In More Gone, Eddie Berrigan shows so much writing savvy it has long sleeves, on which he wears his heart. There are poems with strategic non-sequiturs which yield an inherent logic that convinces and leads to unfamiliar perceptions. There are multi-line riffs during which he works the count, throwing three or four different pitches. The last will look like a fastball, but it's a slider, low and away, and down you go. In simpler compositions he redirects you with subtle shifts of time and context. He includes himself, which gives a poem its worth. A vulnerable and movingly confident self. He impresses with deep impressions."
"Edmund Berrigan's poems may be 'more gone,' but they are also more here. 'Anxious, patient and sentient,' they happen at an intimate core of self, family, community, and world, webbing out in all our neighboring shades and activities of being, where experience glitches and knits. They are rollercoastery, beautiful, knowing, revelatory, and real."