Fur not Light
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Jeff Alessandrelli is the author of THIS LAST TIME WILL BE THE FIRST (Burnside Review Press, 2014) and Fur Not Light (Burnside Review Press, 2019), among other works. He lives in Portland, Oregon, where he runs the vinyl-record literary label Fonograf Editions.
“‘The painter lives his life in revolt of the six primary colors he has been given.’ The poet ‘can’t / Get at it / With these sameold / 26 letters anymore.’ Clear-eyed and evasive, the poems of Fur Not Light are poems of not-light and maybe also of not-wisdoms, in that they ponder rather the potential of wisdom in the non-ruminative, in such things as insects and sharks and days that do not exist and the deflective edges of language and meaning. To be human according to Fur Not Light is to be caught in the perpetual revolutions of one’s awareness of paradoxes.”
“The titles in Jeff Alessandrelli’s Fur Not Light—‘Be Yer Own Hitman,’ say, or ‘Nothing of the Month Club’—are grimly funny indicators of what’s to come. These are poems about how to downsize hope, that most human of emotions. ‘We hope to resign ourselves to hope,’ Alessandrelli writes, but, of course, we never quite succeed. Hope and resignation tussle endlessly here like a Buddhist version of Laurel and Hardy. In Fur Not Light wisdom has rhythm.”
“Picking his way through all 26 letters of the alphabet as if they were leftover icons of a crashed operating system, Jeff Alessandrelli is also tempted toward the truth of numbers, knowing the eternal inequality of word and world. Here, passed-out vectors of POV are used to resign from—to assign new signs to—abject objects not to be named but aimed at the very heart of death. How the poet packs the emptiness of the American soulscape into the tightest, most unaccommodating space of poetry is a problem for the mathematicians of the future to solve.”