Notes from Irrelevance
Author: Anselm Berrigan
Publisher: Wave Books (2011)
I at some point decided
to be—or became,
influenced by, potentially,
This generous book-length poem is an investigation of the author’s unique personal history as it entwines with his present role as poet, citizen, and “one of the six billion-plus.”
"This single stanza, book-length poem is a compilation of such linguistically rich and syntactically varied sentences. Discursive like much of Berrigan’s work, the poem meanders through a day in the life (or perhaps a week or longer), capturing the essence of what life is like for the author, who self-identifies as “currently one / of the six billion-plus.” And though there are autobiographical moments specific to the author, the poem speaks to a wider experience too—to what it’s like to be alive and thinking in America today..."
"Berrigan is always in control—of the line, of the sentence, of the digressions—all in attempt to show that poetry is not a space for tidy representation, but a sprawling performance of thought and experience, a body of vocabularies."