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Escape Velocity [Hardcover]

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Item description for Escape Velocity by David Breskin...

From the righteous indignation of welfare mothers to the cloying calm of West Coast Buddhists, Escape Velocity splices the personal and the political as seamlessly as life itself. Funny and ferocious, poems such as "Mosaic Wipe," "Due Process," and "Newsworthy" go fearlessly into darkened spaces to crack them wide apart. In this new collection of lyrically canny compositions, David Breskin courageously gathers up the fractured facets of American life and transforms them into a stunning, spinning mirrored ball of postmodern poesy.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   126
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6.5" Height: 9.5"
Weight:   0.78 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 19, 2004
Publisher   Soft Skull Press
ISBN  193236045X  
ISBN13  9781932360455  

Availability  0 units.

More About David Breskin

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! David Breskin is the author of a three books of poems, FRESH KILLS (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 1997), Escape Velocity (Soft Skull Press, 2004), and Supermodel (Soft Skull Press, 2006); a novel, The Real Life Diary of a Boomtown Girl (Viking, 1989); a play, "Kids in the Dark"; a collection of interviews with film directors Francis Coppola, David Cronenberg, David Lynch, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, Clint Eastwood, Robert Altman and Tim Burton, Inner Views: Filmmakers in Conversation (Faber and Faber, 1992) and reprinted in a new and expanded edition by Da Capo in 1997; and a book and CD collaboration of poems and paintings and music with Ed Ruscha and Wilco's Nels Cline, DIRTY BABY (Prestel, 2010). His poems have appeared in many periodicals, including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, DoubleTake, TriQuarterly, NEW AMERICAN WRITING, Parnassus, Salmagundi, Quarterly West, and Boulevard.

David Breskin currently resides in San Francisco, in the state of California. David Breskin was born in 1958.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Single Authors > United States
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > 20th Century
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Escape Velocity?

Uniquely reveals the darker side of life in America   Jan 9, 2005
Escape Velocity is an original work of free-verse poetry, that uniquely reveals the darker side of life in America - poverty, social inequity, and worse with a combination of cultural critique and raw linguistic depiction of ugly realities. Bluntly written, prizing honesty over flowery language, the poems are crafted from the grit of human experience and offer a clear reflection of harsh reality. "Welfare Reform": The Lakota used every piece // of the buffalo and I expect no less / from you. If you rub me hard enough // against the rough concrete of the voters, / my skin comes off like grated cheese. // Recover the chaise. Patch the frayed cord / of the tennis net. Resole the old soft shoe.
A Present Day Walt Whitman  Dec 9, 2004
David Breskin is his own best publicist, for you have only to go to one of his readings to want to buy all of his books. I remember seeing him many years ago, perhaps in 1998 or 1999 reading for the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University, where he was then celebrating the release of his famous first book FRESH KILLS, but also as some poets do he went on to give some "sneaky peeks" from a forthcoming book that he was then just starting work on. I remember him reading a poem, "Growing," that has the line in it, "She was a lighter and I was a cigarette," and right away I knew, his rough, easy to love delivery marked him down as a present-day Walt Whitman, with one eye on the circumstances of the everyday and the other on the vatic and holy.

Now "Growing" and many more poems have been assembled and published by New York's fast-growing Soft Skull Press. The book may be a little long but you have to remember it contains the work of many years of sowing, reaping, and harvest. After the ill-conceived tribute to Gerhard Richter he produced last year for the San Francisco portion of the Richter retrospective (ESCAPE VELOCITY is dedicated to Gerhard Richter), I thought that perhaps his sense of humor had left him, but no, it is here and more, squared, from the front cover portrait of four black prisoners on a turn of the century chain gang, to the back cover which has four black men playing music, standing around, and dancing, and the blurb by Bono, perhaps the same one from the band U2. Anyhow, there's another funny poem in the book called "Rated X," Breskin's philosophical meditations on what happens to women who decide to chop off the "members" of their boyfriends who did them wrong. "Take him home in a doggy bag," it concludes, in a wry burst of wit. Guys who are sensitive about this sort of thing, you can skip the two pages 32 and 33, and go on to other poems in the book. In "Today's Place Crash" you will read a chilling poem that will inevitably remind you of the twin towers going down on 9/11, as Vreskin borrows his Thomas Lux voice to intone grimly, "The black box tape reeling sticky impact/ of quickening terror is the jokester."

His jokes are sly and usually subversive, and his images are lovely, like the "trampoline of waffles" counterposed to the "bad boy's erection."

I love the names of his children, to whom he dedicates his most heartfelt poem, a girl called, "Billie Miro," and a boy called, "Theolonius Blue," kind of jazzy names and certain to cause talk in the playground. So, if you get a chance to hear Breskin read, run, don't walk, he is earthy and intense, and makes you feel you have a laser beam going from your ears into his heart.
We got the fax by yak . . . . . Holocaust Chutzpah . . . .   Nov 13, 2004
are some of my new favorite expressions, courtesy of Escape Velocity. I will confess that I'm a relative neophyte to the world of poetry, but Breskin's book came highly recommended, and for that I'm now grateful. Simply grasping his references was, for me anyway, highly entertaining, but the contexts in which they're nestled will forever change the way you see, or are embarrassed by, the flotsam of our world.

It's like watching TV or reading the newspaper or walking down the street while on some hyped-up cocktail of stuff that all combine to give you, oddly, both a never-before-possessed (or even-thought-possible) clarity and yet at the very same time a completely different way of seeing.

Cool words. Read them.


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