Books: Poetry

THE COCK OF HEAVEN—Elder Olson —Macmillan ($2).

That all flesh is as grass—and mostly crab grass at that—is a juicy writer's thesis that seems incapable of being squeezed dry. One of the latest literati to draw blood from this cosmic lemon is Elder Olson, a young, Byronic-looking assistant professor of English at Illinois Institute of Technology. His The Cock of Heaven is a long poem about the irremediable genesis, incorrigible exodus and appalling exeunt of the Goddamned, salvation-proof children of Adam. For purely literary excitement, it should rank as the poetic book-of-the-year.

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