Johnny-Payne

Johnny Payne is Director of the MFA in Creative Writing at Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles.  His most recent book of poetry is Vassal.  Forthcoming is the poetry collection Heaven of Ashes, from Mouthfeel Press.


ARTIFICE IN THE CALM DAMAGES, poems by Andrew Levy, reviewed by Johnny Payne

ARTIFICE IN THE CALM DAMAGES, poems by Andrew Levy, reviewed by Johnny Payne
ARTIFICE IN THE CALM DAMAGES by Andrew Levy Chax, 176 pages reviewed by Johnny Payne The traditional identification of poet and prophet is acceptable only in the sense that the poet is about as slow in reflecting his epoch as the prophet. If there are prophets and poets who can be said to have been ‘ahead of their time’, it is because they have expressed certain demands of social evolution not quite as slowly as the rest of their kind. Trotsky said it best: “All through history, the mind limps after reality.”  The aloof intelligentsia continues to believe in the power of reason alone to move the world.  No amount of revolution has yet changed this fact.  As a recent electoral outcome pretends to remedy the hyper-capitalistic state of siege in which we all currently exist, neoliberalism, a name which in itself has become insufficient to describe the evolving phenomenon, applies an over-the-counter balm to a suppurating gangrenous wound. Into this hyperkinetic stasis comes Artifice in the Calm Damages by Andrew Levy.  It is a series of meditations on the self as written repeatedly onto a historical palimpsest in an attempt to describe a personal politics adequate to the age ...
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