The Empty Form Goes All the Way to Heaven

(Ahsahta Press, 2015)

 

(design by Quemadura)

(design by Quemadura)

 

Titled with Agnes Martin’s singularly flowing lines, these poems weave phrases from writers as rangy as Larry Eigner and Rosalind Krauss, Antonio Damasio and Maurice Blanchot together with an evolving examination of the immediate experience of illness and pain. A kind of stillness gradually builds through these carefully-shaped pieces, a distilled poise in which one comes to hear Agnes Martin as one simultaneously sees the Zen koan that the collection itself slowly, precisely forms.

 

– Cole Swensen

 

 
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To live we must bring perception and proprioception into alignment; outer and inner must correspond. Disease threatens this correspondence. In The Empty Form Goes All the Way to Heaven, Brian Teare, struggling with illness, searches for lost balance through an intense engagement with the painting of Agnes Martin.  These achingly beautiful poems demonstrate the ways that, as Dickinson puts it, “After great pain, a formal feeling comes.”

 

– Rae Armantrout

 
 

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After centuries of poets and painters collaborating comes this very different and remarkable integration of artistic forces.  Brian Teare placed his body and poems into the Agnes Martin grid for a holistic magic that, as he writes, “I couldn’t tell / until I held it” and we feel all the unloved places of our world rise up with him.  It is rare to bear such change with the poet. Do not pass by this book without grabbing it.

 

– CAConrad

 
 

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