So you didn't think Rimbaud's Illuminations were possible in an American idiom? You didn't think that the explosive and tender, the vulgar and the visionary, could take concepts of spirit and body and wring their necks? These poems take on the South and the intricacies of race, they meditate on how power empties out the private life, all the while refusing to be pigeon-holed by ideologies of any stripe. They say with Whitman, 'Do I contradict myself? Well then, I contradict myself. . . .' Fierce and funny, ecstatic in their melancholy, these poems blow past any curb on the imagination. No one in any generation is writing poems that are like these: smart, visceral, immensely pleasurable to read.