"A modern-day Rosetta Stone, Book Beginning What and Ending Away bridges the wild conceptual experimentalism of the 1960s and the rigid, doctrine-driven personal politics of the 1970s and early 1980s Language poets, while illuminating the path toward a freeform, devastating 'point perspective lyric' that is Coolidge's operative method today."—Tom Orange
At over five hundred pages of sustained, exhilarating prose, this work reconciles the relentless iconoclasm of the language poets with Clark Coolidge's own deeply rooted theories of abstraction and musicality, yet remains astonishingly readable more than thirty years after Coolidge abandoned the project—planned to be more than one thousand pages—in 1980. An act of radical endurance, a resurrected classic.
Why the same cave? It is continuous. The weight exists, a drill, and it is well. One bridge is older than the stream. Of indebtedness great ground now possess changes. Crack cavity in the sung Hallelujah Chorus. I took a drink, still older than unequivocally slabby. My sac deposit lies life size. The well we have is little more than this sheet-iron. The making system drapes the writer's contrast.
Author of more than twenty books of poetry, Clark Coolidge has occupied a singular place in American letters since the mid-1960s. An unparalleled influence on the wider avant-garde—the Language Poets, the second and third generation New York School, and whole movements of visual artists, musicians, and linguists, Coolidge is from Providence, Rhode Island. Since 1997 he has lived in Petaluma, California.