Author: Anselm Berrigan
Publisher: Black Square Editions (2021)
"In the world of Anselm Berrigan sketchiness is next to godliness and repeated heavy-lifting becomes a pleasure. Pregrets has the feel of wandering a giant armory filled with enigmatic objects and pointed memories. Dust motes in daylight betray a thin path forward so the 'tongue' of the book seems in constant peril, addictively so. 'Red copter rises slicing a scraper into outer cubicle dreams...' Possessed of a haunted style that moves beyond surface. Fathomless."
"With Pregrets, Anselm Berrigan captures the scattered environs and tonal intrusions that compose thought-break as society—a reflection of the seemingly scattered populace, where the all is broken while becoming thought, 'unity would like / its finked deproductions back.' If we remove a cogent arc, the dips and peaks of our lives become weirdly accessible, where each observed indentation of skin on skin action becomes a jeweled aphorism, a telegrammed imagistic, from u to us—'I'm a covered base / levitating carry-ons into sub-extinction.' Berrigan synthesizes time's arrival as an act of pregret, by giving us regrets to degret from, now he's got me doing it! The breathless yet finite scrawl of these poems—ecosystems of empowerment that infuse the neighborhood walk with the centered page—re-train listening as a sort of ekphrasis of unfolding, to capture the journey's formation with a delicate insistence on the everyday apogee found between the words, 'being a thingless / telephat,' of poet to reader, 'give my love to the air out there.'"
"Houdini word smithy Anselm Berrigan writes elsewhere about poetry coming from a place as if a filter between your consciousness and the world fluttering in. This magic act, not facile, is unpredictable—the filter works lovingly overtime, hard at its alchemy, arrangement, intuitive flowing 'moves' of brain flash, found attitude, multiple voiced increments. Sometimes I'm breathless inside a language barrage or barrel speedily turning not bound by any one thought. Other times I'm with abandon in the cognition quotidian soup. ('The abstract poet runs where in cognito again?') But consciousness is a vivid Zen equalizer—a syncretic piling on as words jump the gate, rhapsodize, list, lumber, scan this wild existence. So what IS the sense of Pregrets? 'gret' comes from the 'greter' meaning to weep, mourn, lament from the Frankish 'gretan.' Was it that moment before you weep? or imagined later? Future pluperfect? Regrets suggest a past. Begrets suggest something between begetting and beginning, more complicated than 'first thought, best thought' And we have also Deflategrets, Freegrets, Megrets, Gretgrets, and then Degrets de-constructs the lament perhaps. So Pregrets I figure gets at origins that already have some kind of affect/karma but don't have to add up. A huge relief. This work is all about duration and mind and space, and Time as spiral. Often like dream text with that crazy 'other' fluttering in wild tandem. 'The escapist fig as fondled contour.' Amazing."