Geoffrey G. O'Brien's second collection documents the "remorse of the senses" that attends each moment of experience, the pain and pleasure of not exiting a world in which injustice and distraction secure every sensual event. Attempting to reestablish experience as something other than complicity, these poems insist on "desiring that which is as if it were not," making poetry out of neighborhood flyers, the Patriot Act, and the poverty of presidential speech. Given this mandate to stay within limited resources, Green and Gray makes a virtue of refusing to abandon them, often relying on an emphatic recirculation of words and phrases to generate its own system complexities. These are poems whose materials remember their former use: the gray of the city and the green it used to be.
Geoffrey G. O'Brien is a Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of The Guns and Flags Project (UC Press).