Author: Tom Mandel
Publisher: Burning Deck (1991)
Like photo-realism in painting, these texts look deceptively like a return to representation until we realize that what is represented is already an image. They invite the reader to collaborate in investigating our notions of reality and, therefore, of language. A sense of melancholy (balanced by a teasing playfulness) pervades the book and gives it its distinctive complexity.
"The world, as refracted through the lens of Tom Mandel's poetry, takes on the singularity of a new kind of order. His voice is fresh, astringent and altogether compelling. He is a dynamic presence."
“This book both attracts and baffles me. The prose works are especially distinctive, filled with a shadow play of strain about the oblique relation of language and reality. The cool grief-stricken implacability of this is distinctive. Mandel’s play with words says one can barely face the world of things, much less the world of language in which to try to respond or record.”
–Rachel Blau DuPlessis