G. L. Ford's Sans: A Burst of Light That Drags the Target In
Yellow Rabbits, "a digital space for reviews and literary commentary," has reviewed G. L. Ford's first full-length collection, Sans (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2017). "The poetry is the result of undertaking the vastest realms of the possible, and that is the horrific, deadpan flatline of the question of humanity," writes Greg Bem of the work. More from this review:
As I read Ford’s work, I couldn’t help but think of more romantic notions of the human, of that spirit that pervades us, that energy which spurs us on toward a sense of enveloping light and dark, cascading or crescendo, transient or crisis-complete. The definitions of this verse are excellently stark, with voices behind the poems that feel bold and daring and rupturing of the current milieu of the contemporary voice. This is work that is craft-laden, but evokes a respect for an egalitarian sense of the heart, of that which humanity once worshipped but has long abandoned. A book of time, a book of memory, this book is existentially offbeat and living in a world that has surpassed it. Which is why it is like gold within a pit of rust. Which is why it sits with the reader uncomfortably. Imagine holding a gold nugget while sitting in a pit of rust. Imagine the awe, and that horrific menace of the gleaming light of beauty that cannot do anything other than oppress through imprint of impression. Ford’s poetry glints and gleams disruptively in a world of image-obsessed droning and dreariness. Sadly, not even the reverberations of a pertinent poetry are ever enough to shock reality into new complexion and composition—just as the golden nugget exists, so it will never be more than an object that can be sold, or inevitably sold through immense, obsessive planning.
In a more practical sense, the poetry in Sans is hardly without, though it certainly stands in its own right on a platform that notices emptiness. The form of the poems is crisp and shuddering: short lines that wrap down the page in lingual maneuvers that remind me of the first time I read Susan Howe, the first time I read Rae Armantrout. That is not to say this poetry is like that of those writers, but there is a jolt, a door left ajar, a burst of light that drags the target in, like moths burnt crisp by that soft buzzing electric light...