Tyrone Williams | Howell |
Atelos | 2011
I love and rely on Williams’s
work for its seriousness of purpose—you really remember, reading him, what it means to be challenged not because the
text has anxiety about being overly accessible, nor out of some political justification where disjointed language supposedly
subverts commercial language, but because the writer is directly knee-deep in difficult problems, aesthetic and social. My
sense is that Howell might be better than both On Spec and C.C., and I really wouldn’t have believed
that possible.--Brent Cunningham
Tyrone Williams | Howell | Atelos | 2012
Finding it as mysterious as it was completely engaging, I couldn’t
put Howell down once I started it. (Really.) “Stakes Is High,” as Tyrone writes, quoting De La Soul.
But I'm here to tell you that you need to read these books. Not only will you see
the development of a remarkable writer over a period of time, but you'll eventually come to one of the wildest things I've
ever read, "Horse x (shoe/power)," an extended vamp on the situation of pit ponies. I'd never heard of them before either,
but, unlike Tyrone Williams, I'd never run across The Pit Pony Sanctuary. This thing is equal parts Plato, Swift (especially
Swift, though I said 'equal parts'), Twain, Martin Luther King crossed with Thoreau crossed with Chris Rock. This is a powerful
comic meditation that you'll read over and over.
"Get on your pony and ride," we used to sing and dance. "Pony up,"
I said to the sharp at the card table. "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades . . . and poetry," wrote David Goren
long ago. Forget dressage, turn to this Olympian trope and have yourself a read.
Posted by Aldon Lynn Nielsen
at 4:38 PM