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Roots & Branches Series
afterword by Matthew Seidman
ISBN 1-881471-19-5 $10.00 80 pages
Reminiscent of dream theory which instantiates a fragment of selfness in each dream-element, or of the other theory which has the most recent waking electromagnetic brain stimulation locate the dream-content literally by tissue-territory, The Corybantes evinces a movement evoking Kamau Brathwaite's "tidalectics" (History of the Voice). "Death and corruption/are not the feet of balance/ being should walk upon," rather than leading into the expected dialectical relationship, gives way to "Ponderous being, something forgotten/ unbearable burden becomes/ a release resting in things," lines erasing preceding lines in the movement of waves and tides continuously recalled in the poem, while the Corybantes (readers/chorus?) rejoice in Dionysian celebration throughout.
I have read Wave-Run and found it very interesting. It is always good to read an intelligent young writer. In The Corybantes he continues with a longer and more definitive book using longer stanzas if one uses that word anymore. I don't and he doesn't either. Please read him yourself. You will find "are you reading my mind," "no one honors cultivated silence," "raising his consciousness to the status of Being." Do not be left behind.
Tod Thilleman's new, book-length poem, The Corybantes, submerges us in swarms of inspired thought-bubbles; disbursed in rhythm's tumultuous tides and waves, we are both at sea and within the body's ocean, pushed and pulled by rushes of words that take us to the next strophe and then fall back into the veiled waters of language. There is time at the wave's cresting; there is time for ontology and plain talk before the ebbing returns us to the brine "pregnant/maybe with little bubbles/housing crustaceans..."
Tod Thilleman has achieved a perfect fusion between poetry and philosophy in this unusual work. Is this fusion cold or warm? Read between the lines.
Tod Thilleman moved to New York at the age of 18 and worked for a brief period with Pace Editions. He is the author of numerous poetry collections and the novel Gowanus Canal, Hans Knudsen. From 1991-1999 he was editor of Poetry New York: a journal of poetry & translation.