The Director of Love
Richard Siken's Crush is an amazing book. The long lines are merciless and perfect. They are so elegantly crafted they remind me of the beautiful strokes of paint of De Kooning or Frankenthaler. They also seem to be the work of a master cinematographer.The book is of course about unrequited love, about the need for love, about the failure of love. But it is also about using form to discover what is important. To save yourself, one's self, his self. The hypnotism of the lines, the density of the texts makes us complicit, and proves a queer sort of intimacy. Does it matter that the tumultous and turbulent loves told about in the book are same sex? Yes and no. I don't know. It should. But I can see how it doesn't also. The structure of this book is the story, the story board even. It is no accident that the first poem is entitled Scheherezade. Siken's Thousand and One Nights are told with a combination of ferocity and sentimentalism (in the best sense of this poor word), and he saves himself from the worst excesses of romanticism and expressionism by the use of a variety of directions. Imagine this, look at that, etc. The Director of Love. The books ends hopfully, you will see.