February 14, 2012

Common Time by Chris Pusateri

10 Things I Love about Common Time by Chris Pusateri (in no particular order):

1. It's influenced in part by Glenn Gould's Two Take. In Chris's version: an elaborate process of drafting the manuscript three times (in full), then taking the "best" of those drafts to create Common Time.

2. The table of contents is a poem!

3. It's a comedy: "My message is so long, it has become a religious text."

4. It graphic: "Steaming penis fondue."

5. Cathy Wagner wrote a lovely blurb: “Common Time is a ‘collection’ in the best sense, a self-consciously accretive book; here, meanings precipitate out of the nonsense detritus of the working day and observations tighten into aphorism. Pusateri’s method exposes the paths that obstruct meaning and those that allow it to accrue: ‘There is a grid within/what we utter,/within phonemes, associations form/and dissolve like flies on bison.’ A humane, wise, and wicked smart book.”

6. It shows tenacity: it took Pusateri over a year to write it. 

7. It's meditative: "Does writing create a moment/or does it exist in a moment/which it illuminates by drawing attention to it?"

8. The good folks at Steerage Press are bringing it out soon: available in March at AWP!! Hear Chris read at the Dusie/Pussipo AWP reading.

9. HR Hegnauer designed the cover. Love her work.

10. It's written by Chris! Disclosure: I know him.