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Hallelujah Blackout - Alex Lemon

Hallelujah Blackout

Paperback Published: 12th February 2008
ISBN: 9781571314314
Number Of Pages: 168

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Alex Lemon’s work defies categorization. Stark juxtaposition of images evokes the New York School, verbal collages suggest the associative method of the postmodernists, and his playful attention to sound recalls elements of Language School poetry. While these elements surface in Lemon’s work, his poetry remains profoundly original, his voice remarkably distinct. Lemon is also, like Frank O’Hara, an autobiographical poet, using the materials of life for inspiration. At 29, he is already a survivor of brain surgery. Still coping with the surgery’s effects, including a gradual loss of vision, he invokes, proclaims, decries, and serenades the world that results after the violation of identity. When the membranes that divide mind and body rupture, the result is not a void, but a strange sensory landscape where all stimuli exist on the same level. Avoiding the easy temptations of both despair and consolation, Hallelujah Blackout embraces the full range of the human experience.

A Chaplinesque vaudeville, both mirthful and moving; a pure-gospel shout to the vaulted heavens; a hatful of abracadabras with a wink and a smile: "Hallelujah Blackout" is a muscular, vibrant book. Painful without being pitying ("I have little time to let mere ailments worry me"), inventive without being showy, this is an astonishing, masterful collection of poems. -- D. A. Powell


Alex Lemon's poetry is "a downpour that lets you see through all the gristle to our real faces." These poems charm us with their kinetic, near boisterous spunk, but they sting us too with their ever-present currents of contemplation and despair. Here amid "a jukeboxed moon" and the "sweet, sweet boogaloo of light," the only thing more remarkable than Lemon's linguistic muscle is the blood singing up from his gut. -- Terrance Hayes


Alex Lemon is an unstoppable phenom. He gets so much into a poem: so much world, such rich human voice, and he gets so terrifyingly close to both the self and the overwhelming Everything Else. He does this while making us look at the smallest, loveliest, worst, or plainest details at the oddest moments. Readers experience the wearing of shirts and the eating of apples and beans; a split second later we're by turns divine, genius, ravaging, and prayerful. Then we're hurt again. Then we're in love. It's as if we have been granted extra lives. Lemon's art is transformative, staggering, and in the end, compassionate. He's one of us, letting us know: we're in trouble but we're okay. -- Brenda Shaughnessy


A Chaplinesque vaudeville, both mirthful and moving; a pure-gospel shout to the vaulted heavens; a hatful of abracadabras with a wink and a smile: "Hallelujah Blackout" is a muscular, vibrant book. Painful without being pitying ("I have little time to let mere ailments worry me"), inventive without being showy, this is an astonishing, masterful collection of poems. -- D. A. Powell

Alex Lemon's poetry is "a downpour that lets you see through all the gristle to our real faces." These poems charm us with their kinetic, near boisterous spunk, but they sting us too with their ever-present currents of contemplation and despair. Here amid "a jukeboxed moon" and the "sweet, sweet boogaloo of light," the only thing more remarkable than Lemon's linguistic muscle is the blood singing up from his gut. -- Terrance Hayes

Alex Lemon is an unstoppable phenom. He gets so much into a poem: so much world, such rich human voice, and he gets so terrifyingly close to both the self and the overwhelming Everything Else. He does this while making us look at the smallest, loveliest, worst, or plainest details at the oddest moments. Readers experience the wearing of shirts and the eating of apples and beans; a split second later we're by turns divine, genius, ravaging, and prayerful. Then we're hurt again. Then we're in love. It's as if we have been granted extra lives. Lemon's art is transformative, staggering, and in the end, compassionate. He's one of us, letting us know: we're in trouble but we're okay. -- Brenda Shaughnessy


A Chaplinesque vaudeville, both mirthful and moving; a pure-gospel shout to the vaulted heavens; a hatful of abracadabras with a wink and a smile: Hallelujah Blackout is a muscular, vibrant book. Painful without being pitying ("I have little time to let mere ailments worry me"), inventive without being showy, this is an astonishing, masterful collection of poems. -- D. A. Powell

Alex Lemon's poetry is "a downpour that lets you see through all the gristle to our real faces." These poems charm us with their kinetic, near boisterous spunk, but they sting us too with their ever-present currents of contemplation and despair. Here amid "a jukeboxed moon" and the "sweet, sweet boogaloo of light," the only thing more remarkable than Lemon's linguistic muscle is the blood singing up from his gut. -- Terrance Hayes

Alex Lemon is an unstoppable phenom. He gets so much into a poem: so much world, such rich human voice, and he gets so terrifyingly close to both the self and the overwhelming Everything Else. He does this while making us look at the smallest, loveliest, worst, or plainest details at the oddest moments. Readers experience the wearing of shirts and the eating of apples and beans; a split second later we're by turns divine, genius, ravaging, and prayerful. Then we're hurt again. Then we're in love. It's as if we have been granted extra lives. Lemon's art is transformative, staggering, and in the end, compassionate. He's one of us, letting us know: we're in trouble but we're okay. -- Brenda Shaughnessy

ISBN: 9781571314314
ISBN-10: 1571314318
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 168
Published: 12th February 2008
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.0  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.23

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