Read Sight Map by Brian Teare Online


In Sight Map Brian Teare blends the speculative poetics of the San Francisco Renaissance with a postconfessional candor to embody the "open field" tradition of such poets as Robin Blaser and Robert Duncan. Teare provides us with poems that insist on the simultaneous physical embodiment of tactile pleasure—that which is found in the textures of thought and language—as wellIn Sight Map Brian Teare blends the speculative poetics of the San Francisco Renaissance with a postconfessional candor to embody the "open field" tradition of such poets as Robin Blaser and Robert Duncan. Teare provides us with poems that insist on the simultaneous physical embodiment of tactile pleasure—that which is found in the textures of thought and language—as well as the action of syntax. Partly informed by an ecological imagination that leads him back to Emerson and Thoreau, Teare's method and fragmented style are nevertheless up to the moment. Remarkable in its range, Sight Map serves at once as a cross-country travelogue, a pilgrim's gnostic progress, an improvised field guide, and a postmodern "pillowbook," recording the erotic conflation of lover and beloved, deity and doubter....

Title : Sight Map
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780520258761
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 96 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sight Map Reviews

  • Paula
    2019-03-15 06:23

    These are poems of place and sexual desire, of location and dislocation. They are also a conversation that the poet has with himself regarding the nature and use of prayer. That said, it is Teare’s language, more than his ideas, that shines through this collection. And the logic of the language here is one of choice rather than chance. Teare’s poetic skills are finely honed and he wields them with great precision. He has no truck with sloppiness. Perhaps sex as he describes it here can be messy (psychologically speaking), but craft can not. One of the tasks he seems to have set for himself is to chisel out a God-concept/location from raw materials that include Pennsylvania rivers and birch trees, hot summer days on Oakland streets, and the insistence of Eros just about everywhere. I particularly admired the long poem “Emerson Susquehanna” that opens the collection: “what began as white/ grew whiter/ by virtue of contrast/ until it seemed overexposed/ so little shadow was left/ like a sentence revised too often/ what happens is the mind/ travels outward/ because it wants to be the soul it has heard tell of.” (9). A later, reiterative poem “Sanctuary, Its Root Sanctus” also caught my attention (by reiterative, I mean that the poem repeats itself in a manner both exact and interesting): “and it is this fullness most resembles my experience of God . . . . I try to keep it here—the lake and its description—before it becomes metaphor . . . .the lake interpreted/ is no lake at all . . .being fucked is a version of prayer . . . . and birds// disturb interpretations/ I in turn have interpreted.” (61-62)

  • Ronald
    2019-02-23 06:29

    Brian Teare's strikingly seductive second book, Sight Map, contains a voice so courageous and forceful it terrifies. Within minutes his phrases began striding under my skin with the chewing cadences of a voracious beetle. If the voice of the speaker in Sight Map oscillates-- from blatant Emersonian yearning for solace in nature to self-inquiry fueled by comforting flashes of familial surroundings-- it also performs a Foucault-esque excavation of queer desire: "under laws, the order of things/ so deeply a violence and unnumbered like snow." I've quoted these last two lines of the first section of 'Emerson Susquehanna', the lead poem in Sight Map, to reveal the speaker's grand entry into political prayer. Students of Foulcault may recognize The Order of Things as Foucualt's title for his archaeology of human sciences. But thankfully Teare doesn't care if you get it, which is a relief. There are no painstaking detours to prove his erudition, instead his poems present a dense pleading for a new way of soul-seeing, of casting the self as observer and thinker in the physical world. After all, we are moving across the planet and place is essential to the story: referential intersections of longitude/latitude lines loom as sites for chapter titles which bracket our pilgrim and mark our route across his sight map. If there is God, maker of his soul, this pilgrim will find it. The voice, so clear and supremely edited, let's the reader sneak under the sewing table of poem-making and snatch a glance at what might eventually become inner seams of his gown, suit, field coat or sometimes even a simple pair of well constructed hiking socks. Teare includes his speaker's gorgeous stumbling from each discovery, which is then mirrored, multiplied, re-investigated, perhaps even bitch-slapped back into metaphor... but it's me and my caged mind that are thrilled and buzzing from the absolute pleasure of his expertly crafted poems where image and meaning sometimes galvanize and warp into fun-house effect. Teare is utilitarian with regard to his use of wordplay/language games which not only extend the experiments of literary grandparents' such as Wittgenstein and Stein but also improve them by anchoring assonance with astonishing revelation or pay homage to form itself in the process of entertaining. If you are a reader who listens for the poetic resonances of classic geniuses and their contemporaries, you will be gushing with glee. I hear hints of queer enjambment, albeit stamped with his own cerebral leaping, for example stammering into a new stanza Teare is sometimes a cousin in sound to D.A. Powell and Reginald Shepherd; Teare also creates dramatic shifts in subject and voice that feature influences of innovators such as Anne Carson and Jorie Graham. In other moments his poems employ evasive strategies which smack of poetic predecessors Hart Crane and G.M. Hopkins, offering gaps of meaning that pulse with possible insertions. Teare for my tastes raises the stakes because he swerves back, does a linguistic U-turn and crashes into plain-speak with an honesty so alarming it thuds, hits you with a truth no reality show could muster, because his sadness is showing through his intelligence and it's clear this is a hard-fought, spirit truth. I cringe at the admission, but upon reading this book it becomes clear that I am in such dire need of this searching, this journey. So I highly recommend this book and thank the author for carving out this picturesque craving: I hear him saying: yes it's me in here, I'm seeking.

  • Sabrina
    2019-03-09 12:19

    Brian, one of the smartest men I know, needles the thread, stitching sex to text like a Tolkein elf.

  • Kent
    2019-02-21 08:30

    I am most pleased with the way Teare sets the language in these poems on the tense edge of composure, while constantly pushing the poems deeper and deeper into the lyric and the poem's sentiment. Maybe that sounds like a typical thing to say about a book of poems, especially as I'm not exactly sure what narrative or concept I would say the poems are describing. It's sexual, yes. And there is assuredly an object of desire, and an intimacy that means the speaker has something at stake. And perhaps that makes these poems mannered, or composed. But even if this control is present, I am always feeling something deeper in the poems that won't submit to that composure. There is some kind of sexual energy that is simply relentless.

  • Ie
    2019-03-13 05:06

    Dense, erotic, lyrical. Currently obsessed with his internal rhymes, his juxtapositions, his carry-overs, his formalistic choices. Not necessarily revolutionary, but very purposive. Also, language serves more as site, rather than road. Interested to see if his later collections evolve from this pervasive state of being once or twice removed from experience, a detachment from retrospection. Not that it's a bad thing. Though extremely curious about what can happen when he gets down and dirty, wrestling with immediacy.

  • Libby
    2019-03-02 13:08

    A formally dazzling, thematically intricate book, quietly sumptuous in its lyricism. Following a lushly depicted geographical trajectory from East to West, questions of faith and of how language "sees" abound. Lots of great poems here - some of my faves include "Emerson Susquehanna," "Morphology," and "Sanctuary, Its Root Sanctus." A good, informative review can be found here:

  • Rebecca
    2019-02-21 06:22

    This is stunning. A kind of new transcendentalism where the natural world is not merely a backdrop but is embedded in the life, mind, body, ardor of the poet; place is alive and rapturous and completely inseperable from eros, from the lyric.

  • Sharon
    2019-03-13 06:21

    The poems in this book are both conceptually difficult and erotic. I love this book. I have read it several times and keep returning to it.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-02-19 10:31

    What a lovely book -- a lyric, playful, serious engagement with the physical world and with enlightenment ideas.

  • Fan Wu
    2019-03-11 10:06

    Highlights: "As If from Letters of Surveyor Samuel Maclay" & "To Take the House Out of Doors" for the smart use of at least three types of line break; "Morphology" for its incisive reuse of guides to ferns; "Abandoned Palinode for the Twenty Suitors of June" & "An Essay to End Pleasure" for their renewals of Hopkins via his sliding into gay male discourse; and especially "Genius Loci" for one of the best readaloud midsections to a poem I've seen in a while.

  • Megan
    2019-02-24 13:08

    resplendent lyric, sensual, sexual, transcendent, present, lovely

  • Erin Lyndal
    2019-03-12 12:28

    Beautiful language, but boring as fuck. There is no risk or life in these poems.