Sunday, March 13, 2011

J.A. Tyler | A Man Of Glass & All The Ways We Have Failed

J.A. Tyler's A Man Of Glass & All The Ways We Have Failed is filled with haunting and elegant prose, full of imagery that appeals to all senses. Each word, each line, is packed with energy, and there is this epic tension that forms from sentence to sentence:

Glass crumbles and her hair dries, her body
dries, and the towels go up on the rack and the
boat it goes back in her head, the last drips
running down her ankles. A captain and his
sword, the words she doesn't hear. (20-21)

The work is powerful in its silence, meaning, there isn't any forced language, but rather, the fluidity of diction magnifies each poetic scene:

She checks under her fingernails for a piece of
luggage she lost years ago, it had in it one of
her favorite dresses, a halter-top that flowed
with material, exploded color. (29)

Tyler also explains the abstract--those elements which are open for a variety of definitions, and the author provides these mirrors with the repeated use of certain words and sounds which adds to this creation of the intangible while at the same time, specifies, or narrows those fields of definitions:

Forgetting is salt over the shoulder. Forgetting
is giving up. Forgetting is regret and artists
and making words in wounds and opening
wounds and wounding and winding and
wonderful spilling of letters out holes, mouth
and ears and nose. Head, shoulders, knees, and
toes. (67)

These are just a few examples of how Tyler's A Man Of Glass & All The Ways We Have Failed accomplishes a myriad of feats through precision and emotion, and the work, as a whole, is consistent, as it reinforces Tyler's pictorial nature of language from page to page. It's a wonderful maze.

A Man of Glass & All the Ways We Have Failed

by J. A. Tyler
112 pages
ISBN 978-1-879193-24-6
Fugue State Press, 2011

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