12.1.2005

Zach Barocas · Among Other Things

Poems & Proposals by Zach Barocas
41 pp · Paperback · $14.00 · ISBN 0977340104

“Among other things, poems are proposals: proposals that the world may be regarded differently. Zach Barocas does so again and again in this off-beat, pitch-perfect collection. These poem-proposals are among the things of the world, stand out among them, help us see them and ourselves more clearly and from a different, unwonted angle. As Barocas tells us, “one / must at all times act // graciously with one’s / realizations.” And so he has, with a sort of tact and understatement and plain good sense that is surprisingly rare in contemporary poetry. I urge you to accept his proposals.” — Norman Finkelstein

“The percussive instinct that underlies AMONG OTHER THINGS provides the modal changes Zach Barocas makes on language, tapping them out in these lyrics whose rhythm is honesty. Find here life in the city, tender-hearted love, melancholic praise, a new poetic form (a hybrid elegy/epigram the poet calls a proposal) and, above all, syncopated with thoughtfulness and feeling, a lived, unassumingly offered sincerity.” — Peter O’Leary

“Zach Barocas is a hermit on the way to language, on the way to silence. He demonstrates, beautifully and powerfully, that the only words are the necessary ones. “Trust:” he tells his readers, ‘structure is thus / the same as spirit.’ This laconic, utterly physical poetry makes me believe him.” — Michael Heller

Zach Barocas (© 2005)