~Poetry~ | $15 ($13 direct from UDP)
Perfect-bound. 96 pp, 6 5/8 x 8 in.
Publication Date: November 15, 2010
Read Press Release (PDF)
This Time We Are Both is a previously unpublished work that dates back to the publication of such seminal Clark Coolidge books as The Crystal Text, At Egypt, and Odes to Roba. Based on his first trip to the Soviet Union as he followed the itinerary of the Rova Saxophone Quartet 1989 tour of Leningrad, Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn, Tartu, and Moscow, This Time We Are Both uses a dense stream-of-conscious style that employs a fragmentary, often reverse syntax that is a hallmark of Coolidge’s poetics. Phrases and images leaps between lines to evoke a heady mix of anxiety and paranoia that document and respond to the collapse of the Soviet Union and a city on the verge of starvation and deterioration.
“Clark Coolidge’s This Time We Are Both is a pyrotechnic fumble through the dark. Written in 1991, and responding to the fall of Soviet Union, Coolidge’s book-length poem considers the linguistic rediscoveries that come at the end of an imposed order. Simple nouns and verbs collide wildly, and specificity emerges from the unexpected conjunctions. The words pop with knowledge that has nothing to do with novelty or theory; rather this is a book about how to look, how to balance the body on the legs, how to shake a leg to language. It is at once an elegy to Leningrad and an aubade to St. Petersburg.” —STAN APPS
“This Time We Are Both is a brilliant sounding of the question that surrounds us wherever we are, whenever we are. The poet asks ‘who has fallen in with the sound?’ This time it is the sound of the poet’s coming into a new culture, a new language. The problem of difficulty in all its forms—political, emotional, linguistic—is the subject and the condition of This Time We Are Both: what brings us near, what keeps us apart. To hear Coolidge’s music is to fall into its grace.” —PETER GIZZI
“Like the rest of his oeuvre, This Time We Are Both shows that, while Language poetry doesn’t care about lyricism and aesthetics, it can sometimes still give pleasure. It a strange, wonderful achievement, even if too few are paying attention.” —BROOKS LAMPE, the the
26 copies of This Time We Are Both, signed and numbered by the author, in a limited edition. The special edition is sold out.
Publication of this title made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
NEWS AND REVIEWS
Clark Coolidge was born in Rhode Island in 1939. His first full-length collection of poems was Flag Flutter & U.S. Electric (1966). In the early 70's he was included in the An Anthology of New York Poets and L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E magazine. One of the seminal figures of experimental poetry, Coolidge was one of the leading authors on This Press, Sun and Moon Press, and United Artists Books. A life-long jazz musician, his poetics explores a linguistics of the visual and sound through reductive combinations of layered images that are both meticulously composed yet seemingly improvisational.