Industrial Stuff (M. Slotznick, QRL 1978)

Here is the second of the poets from volume 21 of the Quarterly Review of Literature, the first in its poetry series, published in 1978. As far as I can tell, M. Slotznick had published one poem (in the Partisan Review) when he put together this collection, and I cannot find anything about him on the web to indicate that he published anything afterwards. Again, this is a poet whose work largely leaves me cold, but a few of his poems stay with me, such as this one:

January. Passion.

Enterprise is a learned musician, enterprise
stoops, shaken, groping to repeat its chords.
When the blizzard lifts, the white metronome stops,
I’ll still see a bass-violinist and his instrument,

ungainly and rich. He bends over the thing
like a lover; he pries exquisite algebra
from his history; his wrist trembles
all out of proportion, and my heart sounds hollowly.

I do wish he had kept writing and publishing; I would like to see what he has done in the three decades since.


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