Composed of several distinct yet inter-woven long poems, On Generation & Corruption is structured around the conceits of location and dislocation, as it deconstructs a picture-postcard American town. Its title is a clue: in printer’s terms, each “generation” reproduced is more “corrupt” than the last. Through this metaphor, Chiusano alludes to the distance from confessional speech that the book embodies in its complex tales and Escher-like syntax.
Bog. Spillway. River bank. Cow shit. Shade pools. Boot prints.
Tadpoles. Reed beds. Shallows. Eddies. Snags. Cottonmouths. Cobwebs.
The stare stares behind-the-back, bright, between butt-crack and
thigh. The stare widens into a paddle, wide and flat enough to make a
draft when it flaps. The stare picks its nose. The stare halfway wonders
why the closet door is only half-closed.
* * *
When ecstasy is parted from its practice, when rapture is forced to
choose, that’s me: the first efforts, independent principalities.
If I draw a hand, say, or a foot, I tow it into view. If I name, a slender
ankle, a napping neck, I pull it like a dove out of a derby, pigeon out of a