Axis, Book 1: ‘Areal’
Vagabond Press, $25 pb, 204 pp, 9781922181329
With Axis, his first full-length publication, a.j. carruthers explicitly aligns himself with the lineage of the long poem. It is a bold move, if we consider that the major exponents of the form, from Ezra Pound to Anne Waldman, had invariably produced significant bodies of work prior to embarking on their poetic marathons. But ambition is fundamental to the long poem, and Axis, comprising thirty-one extended sequences and billed as ‘Book the first’, certainly outstrips Pound’s inaugural efforts – a mere sixteen Cantos issued in 1925 – by a country mile.