Primitive State
Anselm Berrigan
ISBN 9781890311438

88 pgs, Cover artwork by Marley Freeman

Designed and composed by Quemadora
2015


$18.00

$14.00 direct from Aerial/Edge

Primitive State is a book-length tour-de-force from one of contemporary poetry's strongest search-lights. Composed as an homage to the list poem as "a catalog of consciousness-beats," the result is a long poem peculiarly perfect for twitter. Written across the fall and winter of 2008-09, Primitive State is a continuous arrangement of deadpan observations, a comic reboot of the poet's writing mind, and partial portrait of the poet's then one year-old daughter, Primitive State is a work simultaneously spontaneous and exact, at once open-ended and satisfyingly immediate.


from Primitive State

Not holding the table down

I have trouble relating to the commercialization of foreplay

No performance modification from a safe distance

You shouldn’t think of the phrase “snake in the grass” as an
indictment so much as a public documentation of your nat-
ural behavior

His psyche is twisted without being interesting

The cold reality of the small statement is lost on them, their
offspring, their pets, their infestations & gamey neuroses

Fumes of newness for a three-dollar cover

. . . in the thick of an expression, a vulgar and retrograde
fact, level of retractable tragedy, dependence on listening
. . .

Fan blade awfully close to decapitating huddle

The money clip isn’t used much in poetry these days

My self-critical nature has blinded me to my own lack of
safeguards, as well as any sense of image

Speaking as an ex-version of one, the camera really should
be on the boss at all times

You think you can dull the perversion by embracing it secretly

That plaid scarf, the tan one with black and white stripes,
stalks my generic memory

I distrust Halloween, as if people weren’t costumed already