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Milligan’s new communication collection travels distant from a ‘Highway’

  • Bryce Milligan's latest collection of communication deals with travel, both relocating from place to place and as a metaphor. Photo: /Steve Bennett / San Antonio Express-News

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San Antonio author and publisher Bryce Milligan’s new book travels distant over a highway in form and content, including dual sections of poems with a center apportionment of communication poems.

The progressing poems peace one into beautifully evoked landscapes that subtly exhibit a wanton effects of man’s wickedness on nature.

The pointy spin comes in “The Green Man Returns to Greenland” as “shards of ancient glaciers/ride toward deeper waters, darker waters,/ commencement to warp even as a sea/surrounds them, lapping uninformed H2O wounds/with tainted tongues that can't staunch/the molecular awakening.”


Poems in a third partial are personal — several dedicated to a failing mother, to his mom and dual adult children.

Milligan positively knows how to write both giveaway hymn and grave poems, including delicately crafted, noble sonnets and villanelles. “Thus we do conclude,” leads to a elegiac ending: “Chance carried us/so far. The trembling/begins in a dull mirror.”

But a innovative heart of “Take to a Highway” beats aloud in Milligan’s desirous communication poems. Even some-more personal than a final poems, they broach a extraordinary clarity of a complicated memoir.

More Information

Take to a Highway: Arabesques for Travelers

By Bryce Milligan

West End Press, $16


Prose communication began in France with Baudelaire over 150 years ago, and during a past 50 years, poets have created it into a Jungian reaches of a unconscious.

The communication poem stays paradoxical, holding a interest in both traditions — avoiding line breaks and formalism, though relating poetry’s power — mostly moulding fallacious wit and dreamscapes into prose.

“Advent’s End” paints a absolute design of Milligan’s father being pulled over for speeding toward his possess father’s genocide bed, that a producer dreams watchful as he drives by a frozen night to revisit his possess failing mother, “reluctant to leave since to quit a automobile is to quit a dream and to step again into a storm.”

Consciousness dreams comatose connectors of failing relatives in “Strings” — job out “good grief, Daddy, another apparatus box full of memories pointy as shrapnel that perforates a insulating years …”

Thirty years later, it is his mother’s “chest of drawers we are emptying and sorting,” and her “voice seeking over and over, now who are you?” The second chairman is used via a communication poems.

Who Milligan becomes has roots in “Four-Stroke” — one breathless judgment stretching over dual pages, a master cadence of art and abbreviation — covering years of building a mini-bike underneath his father’s tutelage, that would not start between a third and fifth grades “until a sorcery of mechanics worked and a engine roared and we danced a private hop in a twilight of a garage to a stroke a engine puttered …”

Later, he is “startled to find that we were as in adore with that 3.5 horsepower, four-stroke Briggs Stratton engine as we ever were with a lady with a Picasso hack tail who sat in a table in front of we a day Kennedy died …”

“Eos and a Train Horns” opens with a care of biased memory, “tangled in a tellings, fractured into mixed perspectives, some-more than one of that could have been yours, so we sojourn uncertain of accurately how distant divided a red and yellow Santa Fe Chief locomotive was when your grandfather yanked we off a marks …”

Yet “you remember privately fixation dual buffalo nickels on a prohibited iron track, to be flattened …”

Two teenage memories follow, afterwards “Fugue sans fin” repeats in a 3 tools that “There are circles we remember and circles we forget. These are a same circles.”

The communication poems finish with “A Desert Mountain Love Song,” that predicts a illusory approach of failing in a wilderness, examination a architecture open during McDonald Observatory.

Its one judgment runs for dual pages, finale with “if there’s anything over a veil, it will be her voice job your name.”

Bryce Milligan’s ventures into communication communication are a prominence of his seventh collection of poetry.

Roberto Bonazzi’s Poetic Diversity mainstay appears frequently in a Express-News Books pages.

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