Monday, March 08, 2010

The Nervous Filaments - A Review

David Dodd Lee’s fourth full-length collection of poetry, The Nervous Filaments, is a transcendent step into parallel sphere. Lee wastes no time in asserting his right to hold and examine the reader, the world, in fact, upside down, backwards, by the heels. When he says “I could see ambulance spelled/backwards” we know the emergent world isn’t in Lee’s rear view mirror, but he’s facing it head-on, all the while trying to make sense of the incoming messages, as frantically jumbled as they appear. In a gesture towards Günter Grass’s Tin Drum, “I could see the eels spilling/out of the horse’s head,” Lee prepares the reader for a view of the disturbingly tragic world of survival, the one in which we all traverse but often fail to see. He points out, however, “…here is your/story/coming from a different direction.” Indeed, we meet Lee at an unlikely intersection, but it is an intersection worth exploring as each poem reveals new vistas. “After all that’s your head in the window/looking out/through rain/through snow.” Certainly. Isn’t that why we’re here?


Here is your

story, in my

horizonless competence,

a nevertheless fine

kettle of


I could see ambulance spelled


I could see the eels spilling

out of the horse’s head

a crawdad sits in a cold

pool importantly praying

(cumulus nimbus)

and here is your


coming from a different direction

a couple of shaved ideas

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