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Poetry Canadian

Only Insistence

by (author) James Lindsay

Publisher
Goose Lane Editions
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Category
Canadian, Family
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781773103044
    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price
    $19.95

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Description

The “insistence” in this poetry is how the language calls out the adjacency to its own presence. Each careful syllable feels right next to what surrounds it. A drum hitting out its own “unbridled association.” — Fred Wah

"This is where history began again/where some were told it insisted/itself into a lifelike violence.”

Eclectic, darkly fascinating, and at times apocalyptic, Only Insistence is a protean book where lines and phrases echo back on each other, where images of the natural world are bookended by investigations that delve deep into memory. In this ethereal world, the poet interrogates his relationship with his father, realigns his idea of family after the birth of his son, and bears witness to the isolation, paranoia, and surrealism of the onset of the beginning of the pandemic.

Here pandemic-era streets are “beaches in early April/Bright and bleached and barren” and a lake is “a rage of waves eroding rocks to a pebble beach,/each small stone confident in immanent restoration.” At times languid, at others cunningly sculpted into towering metaphors, Lindsay’s rich metaverse experiments illuminate a world that rewards close attention with infinite possibilities.

About the author

James Lindsay is the author of the poetry collections Our Inland Sea and Double Self-Portrait and the chapbooks Ekphrasis! Ekphrasis!, The Lake, and Labour Day. His poetry has appeared in Train: A Poetry Journal, Taddle Creek, CV2, and Prairie Fire among other journals. He lives in Toronto where he works in publishing.

James Lindsay's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Lindsay envelops you in the Steinian midst, in an amongst, where there is merriment but also haunting. Heartleaps and beauties and agonies that can’t be said and are said, the ways of speaking their fugitive imminence proliferating like rabbits, like the powder of stars as your eyes adjust.”

Susan Holbrook, author of <i>Ink Earl</i>

Only Insistence reads as a dream might — each disclosure an unfolding, with its own tightly crimped folds waiting to stretch. James Lindsay develops a language of confessions that pour out beyond their boundaries, as ‘dashes of colour clustering’ through ‘slits of vision’ can knit what's behind a slatted fence. It is a carefully crafted kaleidoscope, where bodies are known by what crowd their edges, and coldness is known by how ‘piercing light prods the blue, [...] low and whispered,’ where many geographies of are explored compellingly, and softly as water tests a shoreline. I enjoy how Only Insistence is irreverent in its disdain for borders and discrete bodies, in the same way a dream urges us to revisit its many meanings, the ‘flurries it promises.’”

Tyler Pennock, author of <i>Blood</i>

“The ‘insistence’ in this poetry is how the language calls out the adjacency to its own presence. Each careful syllable feels right next to what surrounds it. A drum hitting out its own ‘unbridled association.’ The rhythms of this poetry are acute and held close; words ‘Like flowers in a field.’”

Fred Wah, author of <i>is a door</i>