Poetry | $10 ($8 direct from UDP). 32 pp, 7 x 8 in.
Hand-bound; Letterpress cover
Publication Date: September 8, 2010
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Your Own Ox-head Mask as Proof is a suite of poems from George Kalamaras’s ongoing project, The Bone Sutras. Beginning with Cesar Vallejo’s mandate to “wash your skeleton every day,” these poems enact an accretion of imagery that presents perception as, paradoxically, dispersed yet whole. Their central technique dramatizes this interaction of apparent contradictions as reciprocal rather than conflictive. Each poem, written in couplets with Kalamaras’s characteristic Surrealist imagery, draws liberally on the poet’s long-time study and practice of the Hindu-yogic tradition, as well as his immersion in a modern international poetics. Permeated with an intensity of Eros (“I charted the star bites in your body, read your insides by the light of the snow”), the poems delve not only into personal loss and renewal but also into the nuances of language—its possibilities, challenges, complexities, and fragmentations (“Feather me this. Quonset hut my heart. / Why must a were where you? Where were you spoke when I speak?”). Your Own Ox-head Mask as Proof is a deeply imaginative and sensuous book where “Mysteries appear like an extraordinary egg.”
“The name Kalamaras means, as everyone knows, He Who Channels the Throat Songs of the Inflamed Detectives of Southern Surreality. He has more language at his command than Peter Mark Roget, but though we recognize the words, their electrifying combinations have never been heard before. Given Kalamaras’s impressively penetrating knowledge of English literature, and his pendant for Asian poetry, Tantric Buddhist texts, and 20th century contemporary international poetry in translation, the delicious eclecticism of the poems and the velocity of their outrageously wide range of reference should be no surprise. But the alarming fact is: they are as surprising as they are addictive.” —Forrest Gander
“Kalamaras laurels that part of freedom which knows no bounds except the crime of love. Read him sideways, read him backwards. This is the mouth of a cannon that fires at all conventional assumptions.” —Alvaro Cardona-Hine
“…his phrases (such as the book’s title) are just as delicious as the butterflies on the cover.”
—the the poetry blog
NEWS AND REVIEWS
George Kalamaras is Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, where he has taught since 1990. He is the author of ten books of poetry, including five chapbooks. His titles include Gold Carp Jack Fruit Mirrors (The Bitter Oleander Press, 2008), Even the Java Sparrows Call Your Hair (Quale Press, 2004), Borders My Bent Toward (Pavement Saw Press, 2003), and The Theory and Function of Mangoes (Four Way Books, 2000), which won the Four Way Books Intro Series. His collaborative book of poems with Alvaro Cardona-Hine, The Recumbent Galaxy, won the C&R Press Open Competition and appeared from C&R Press in 2010. In addition, Stockport Flats recently published Something Beautiful Is Always Wearing the Trees—George's poems with paintings by Cardona-Hine. He is the recipient of Creative Writing Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1993) and the Indiana Arts Commission (2001), and first prize in the 1998 Abiko Quarterly International Poetry Prize (Japan). During 1994, George spent several months in India on an Indo-U.S. Advanced Research Fellowship from the Fulbright Foundation and the Indo-U.S. Subcommission on Education and Culture.