Joe Ross is the author of twelve books of poetry, most recently, Wordlick, Green Integer Press (2011) and Strata, Dusie Press (2008). He has also published Fractured // Connections . . . , bilingual Italian/English, La Camera Verde Press and EQUATIONS = equals, Green Integer Press, 2004. He presently resides in Paris.
In Wordlick, Joe Ross masterfully synthesizes a personal jargon of jury-rigged compound words, inventing a corresponding syntax as he goes along, locating us alternately above, below, within, and around his energized linguistic constructions. We can feel the excitement of invention and the pleasure of sonic juxtaposition as the consistently grotesque and dense texture he creates channels any number of voices: Jackson Mac Low? Susan Howe? Bill Luoma? Yoda? But no, these poems sound different than all of those people, and they are more than just parataxis for sure: most notably, there’s an odd kind of pathos here, as if these garbled musings, hovering somewhere between past participle and present occurrence at the moment of writing, were a shorthand for jotting more extensive thoughts about critique, culture, and desire. I love what I’m finding in this new work by Ross, and I’m pleased and honored to welcome him to the Zinc Bar reading series today.
(an afterthought: Joe told me he writes the Wordlick poems very quickly, in the intervals when his son is asleep...so in terms of writing process they are like stolen moments of time, a fact that seems significant here)