Joan Retallack offers a book of forms, like the medieval Book of Hours, intended to draw readers into a meditative experience of time, space, language, the many humors of chance and design, as they intersect and leave their traces on the page. All of civilization to date, all of history is after all aftermath, afterthought, afterimage. The language graphics of AFTERRIMAGES lay claim to the fragility--the gift, the terror, and the whimsy--of the remnant that all images are. Their playful nature is born of the conviction that the present tense--tense, tensile with immanent futurity--must extend itself toward the unintelligible and unknown. This is the frontier where the image hovers on the edge of its own transfiguration, the threshold where poetry can take place.
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