Effervescent Arboretum: Nat Raha

Nat Raha, Octet, Veer Books (2010)

Reviewed by Edmund Hardy

Raha as poet appears as the "conjuctuse", creating a lush mixture of isolated words, near-sense and invented grammatical inflection, largely eschewing linguistic structures of feeling or social identification: a series of returns (to vocabulary, register or barely perceptible 'tone') are instead allowed to thematize the poem's overall production as such.
only to amoured apertured heads
unable to carve the negative-
The span of this production is itself the time or planform of the poem, so that, in each part of the Octet, presentation (now a determined process working towards the emergence of a substance - a poem's particular idea) is configured as textual self-production. The Romanticism of this aesthetic mirrors the lustre of the lush surface as the poems strain - from word to word - towards singularity:
distraction ceases as your fishing wire
shorts your youthful foraging (there's
an octet waft spying on tinnitus) &
despite unduct lottery grass we are actually
follied adults - perched within
an effervescent arboretum -
The vocabularies are often scientific, or drawn from theories of language - but these words are used as if removed by several soundings from any technical context, making of deliberate acyrologia a virtue: "unduct lottery grass" combining an outside fan with an aleatory grass compound, a phrase which - excerpted - starts to turn into an engine-image. Raha's is a poetics of miscibility in which different materials hold each other, no matter what their proportion each to each: a poetics which attempts to found itself on the realization (realised anew) that no poem is a correlate of intentionality.
renewables is particle flux: swarming. tapped
exercise test electric    : & all hums are canons
historic to this condition
The final disappearance at the heart of Romanticism is replicated here: an inconstant mutability between textual interior and public membrane haunts these poems, for the singular condition they strive or tend towards, if achieved, would obliterate the form, turn it inside out by force of an allness from without which would make the "effervescent arboretum" one of ethical care.

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