Death Drive Through Gaia Paris
"Noble's work has always engaged, in its own way, with the Western Canadian tradition of poetry as intellectual experiment grounded on local experience.… Death Drive marks a counter-turn in the work of one of Southern Alberta's most distinctive writers." - Chris Jennings, Department of English, University of Ottawa In this collection of poetry, Charles Noble further reins in an already tight form - haiku - only to let loose a "logopoeic" poetry. He presents poems of extraordinary rigour and riddles of wit that are solved by "lifetime" insights - a dialectical poetry that still observes a phenomenological toehold but transcends the limits of locality in recognizing the curled-up-but-everywhere world of media and markets - à la Fredric Jameson. And yet, these "haikus" go straight - to "the shock of the naïve." They turn to a middle ground, in Aristotle's sense of difficult target. They point to human acts, human reactions, and enact, themselves, a meta-linguistic wrestling, at one with the quarreling couple in the bar hanging on each other's words and insistent with "what do you mean by [a simple word]?" But they are also implicated in what he calls the death drive (not death wish), which arcs freely over a human life span - think architecture - and which, more radically, in the "pleated/ crossword," "make[s]/ good// a/ bit/ of/ bad/ infinity," no expenses, save for that toehold, earth, as he would have it.