Poetry. USELYSSES contains five discrete books of poems written over the last four years. Some of these are poems of experience. Others are night raids or open attacks on the reserves of meaning that, we're almost convinced, derive from properly appreciated experience; meanings we back on faith so we can keep having meaningful experiences in the future. As a radical questioner of such faiths, Noel Black subjects his own skepticism to sufficient pressure to line a mine with prodigal kindness or absolute contempt, depending on the company. Most vital to the reader, his voice is clear throughout, natural, and the poems are fun to read over again. A peerless comic poet, Black's poems have appeared widely, but few of the poems in this book have been published anywhere until now. USELYSSES is Noel Black's first full-length book of poetry.
"If he had written only the astonishing long poem, 'Prophesies of the Past', that concludes his book, Noel Black would have a huge heap of laurels to rest on, for it is the sort of reading experience they must have invented poetry for—it flings one into a state of complete exultation. But USELYSSES offers more than mere perfection. It is a Rube Goldberg contraption of highs and lows, pains and pleasures, built by a man committed to family and experiment in equal measure. Like Goldberg, Black knows how to disguise the real with the gloss of the zany, and his energy could push this riverboat up the side of a cliff. 'Sometimes I feel genuinely happy', he writes, and you will too."—Kevin Killian
Author City: MANITOU SPG, CO USA
Noel Black lives in Colorado Springs with his wife, artist Marina Eckler, and their son Ursen. Co-founder with Ed Berrigan of LOG Magazine and publisher of the Angry Dog Midget Editions in the late 1990s, he has since worked as a writer and producer for a wide variety of media outlets including The Stranger and WNYC. He currently works as a producer for KRCC public radio. He is the author of six chapbooks, including Hulktrans (Owl Press, 2008) and In The City of Word People (Blue Press, 2008). He is the author of USELYSSES (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2011) and LA GOON (Furniture Press Books, 2015).
Reviews and Other Links
Iris Cushing @ Jacket2
interview by Levi Rubeck @ BOMBlog
Josh Cook @ The Rumpus