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A book that ‘does’ the subject: including pop fantasies of hares, fluteplayers, nudes, whores and Proust; (Marianne) Moore-style constructions of a gamut from Gosse to Guns ’n Roses; sequences inspired by the songs of DJ Shadow, Blur and Oasis. A poetry of phrases rather than lines, of a mind thinking (Stein’s ‘entity’) rather than a presentation of thought/identity. Following Brecht, suspense is held in high disregard; following Baudrillard, a democracy is offered: each poem a small celebration of the now, like a promiscuous Frank O’Hara with too many secrets. It’s about balancing: influences/sources; what’s written/what’s unwritten; resistances/acceptances of meaning. God gave us irony to trick the devil, but the devil was already inside.
‘It’s easy to see why Michael Farrell already has something of a reputation as a stylist, though this is his first collection. Inventive, sharp-witted, entertaining and meticulously made, the poems in ode ode offer a lower-case, unpunctuated take on style (‘i perforce have metamorphosed / more than once for a ball at short / notice’) in which style is energised, orchestrated substance.’ —Chris Edwards, Australian book Review
‘ode ode should carry a ‘very high sustainable-energy’ rating decal. Gender is shed in a line – in a fresh take on a post-Duchamp readymade, Michael Farrell’s nude descends a liftshaft. Unpunctuated, lowercase, streamlined and funny. Five stars!’ —Pam Brown
‘This is a collection to read and re-read for its obsessions, its bricolage, its loquacious speed, its moments of downplay and its ecstasy. Edgy, full, these poems’ complex mixes and sharply intuited jump-cuts are the work of a young writer richly attuned to the temper and speed of his times.’ —Martin Harrison