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Bruce Andrews

Designated Heartbeat

Designated Heartbeat


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‘In this selection of shorter lyric poems, celebrated Language poet Bruce Andrews offers his charismatic blend of satire, wit and jouissance, creating a dizzying picture of modern America. In these poems Andrews explores a more intimate and domestic register, further reminding us of the astonishing range of this contemporary master.’

Praise for this Book

‘Andrews’ Designated Heartbeat clips in and out of syntax, repetition or surprise. The aesthetic damage and recovery, then damage. It holds you, drops you, sometimes helps you recover.’ —Allen Fisher

‘“Lexicon seduces” we read in the marvelous poem “I knew the signs by their tents” that opens Designated Heartbeat. Bruce Andrews’ lexicon does indeed “seduce” the reader, what with the “referent burnout” of such pieces as “Verbal Sallies,” a bravura series of quasi-love poems, where we witness the poet, who is “Listening for portraiture,” “sweep the jokes overword.” But where else would one sweep jokes if not “overword”? Andrews’ word invention has never been more dazzling than it is in these profoundly political riffs on the current cultural scene, on the ways we live now—if one can call it “living.” Whether in verse or prose or in concrete visual forms, this is a poetry remarkably attuned to that “referent burnout” we all experience as we make our way through the “success sewage” that surrounds us. Along the way, Designated Heartbeat carries the notion of le mot juste—in all its beauty and rigor—to its illogical conclusion.’ —Marjorie Perloff

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