Not Even Rabbits Go Down This Hole


George Quasha


ISBN 978-1-949966-94-7     266 pages        $18.00


George Quasha’s “preverbs” do what Frank O’Hara said about Abstract Expressionist paintings: they leave “the event of [their] passage.” In a continuum of lines, or line clusters, they move down the page like bright fractals…. These are poems that turn their own originality inside out. They write on the veil they lift and dance a step or two beyond our reach.

   William Benton, author of Backlit, Birds, and Madly: A Novel


Like a festive tempest of flitting iterates, Quasha’s Preverbs provide a lexical elixir— An infinitely textatic reverberance of aphoristic euphoria.

   Adeena Karasick, author of Checking In, The House That Hijack Built and This Poem


“Words say too much to let you know the truth.’’ George Quasha’s torqued, enigmatic preverbs create unlikely balances among discrepant engagements. The vectors of these marvelous poems work at cross purposes, keeping each other aloft. These are sparkling aphoristic aporias for a new age in an old time.  “Poetry,” says Quasha, “resists immortality with difficulty.” And also with wit and charm. Be here now, in which case immortality will take care of itself.

   Charles Bernstein, author of Recalculating and Attack of the Difficult Poems


Preverbs are not so much assertions as events. Read on the page or, better yet, spoken, each of Quasha’s lines is an occasion for becoming aware of meaning in the making. Releasing words from semantic routine, reinventing syntax on the fly, the preverbs provide us with endless opportunities to entangle ourselves in ambiguity and seeming contradiction. As they bring us to the verge of unintelligibility, entanglement becomes an embrace and we generate new powerful meanings— not once for all but in a succession of instants that carry us from line to line, page to page, precipitating us into an expansive, endlessly renewable present.

   Carter Ratcliff, author of The Fate of a Gesture, Out of the Box, and Tequila Mockingbird

George Quasha is a poet, artist, writer, and musician working in mediums in which he explores certain principles active within composition. His primary medium is language, but principles discovered there are operative also in sculpture, drawing, video, sound, and performance. He has published some thirty books, a selection of which is listed in the front of the book.


His ongoing video work, for which he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship (2006), art is/music is/poetry is (Speaking Portraits), has recorded over a thousand artists, poets, and composers (in eleven countries) saying what in their view art, music, or poetry is. Nine volumes of the work appear currently at Exhibitions of this and axial drawings and paintings include the Snite Museum of Art (University of Notre Dame), White Box (NYC), the Samuel Dorsky Museum (SUNY New Paltz), and biennials (Wroclaw, Poland; Geneva, Switzerland; Kingston, New York).


He lives in Barrytown, New York, where he collaborates with Susan Quasha in making art and books, and together they publish Station Hill Press.