Brian Kim Stefans is a poet who has clearly immersed himself in early Pound, specifically H. S. Mauberley and Homage to Sextus Propertius, and absorbed the wonderful flexibility of Pound’s rhythms to the point that he can write in that manner without its sounding like simple pastiche. (Unfortunately, he has also inherited Pound’s careless spelling habits—”Bliss Carmen,” “des Esseinte,” “gutteral,” “Barishnyakov,” “shepharded”—so that one cannot be sure whether there might be typos in such loca difficilia as “cared a noogie for” and “hackterism,” or whether “Wheelright” should be Wheelwright and “V-Burg” W-Burg [Williamsburg, on the L train mentioned in the same poem]. On the other hand, he’s taught me a new word, “frobbing,” so I’m willing to call off the dogs.) The Iowa Review Web has published “Coda: ‘The Nineties Tried Your Game, There’s Nothing In It,” the final 12-poem sequence of “Pasha Noise: life and contacts,” a long poem partly inspired by Pound; the pdf file is here, the Google cache here. I think anyone who likes the style will enjoy it a great deal. Here’s the final poem:
XII. Photo Finish
The “Nineties” tried your game, and died, of course;
suggesting some sort of adrenalin rush at the fin-de-siecle,
a sort of fight-or-flight mentality, a decadent mush, or bombed steel twist;
that’s how it feels, flounder-eyed at the bottom of
a century, thinking on the one hand there’s Moxley, and on the other
that bloke who writes his naive “paragrams” with computers;
nothing but celluloid seems very old, these days,
the first of the trope-recycling “new” arts in cahoots with Benjamin’s Golden Age,
— rather than calcium in bones, we have the half-life of the restored Vigo,
— which, if it seems confusing, is, really, quite OK;
books will continue to be made, and Johnson (Lionel) will still fall from the stool,
I’ll bribe you with these allusions, Auden will continue to be chthonic in September
1932, and we’ll still complain that Barbara Guest was a parenthesis
in Lehman’s The Last Avant-Garde, and we’ll be carpet-bombed with poems,
until the big novel hits — in which case there will still be Tom Phillips’ A Humument.
I very much like “I’ll bribe you with these allusions,” and I too am a fan of A Humument.
Stefans has a blog [replaced by this one in mid-2004], in which you can read his brief description of the poem, and there is another poem from the sequence at wood s lot, where I discovered the poet.