Paperback, 98 p.
The Treatment of Monuments by Alan Gilbert collects four long poems written in different styles. The first, “Relative Heat Index,” is a serial poem reflecting on the climate of war; the second, “More Morphine,” consists of dense, extended stanzas written in long lines that attempt to capture the material and virtual oversaturation of contemporary commodity culture; the third, “Pretty Words Made a Fool Out of Me,” is a twisting poem in short tercets that reveal the grotesque and the absurd lodged within everyday life; and the fourth, “Bye-Bye, Big Wow,” contains twelve interrelated poems written in a more intimate and confessional voice. The book as a whole is intended to present an unvarnished view of recent U.S. politics and culture as filtered through the media, social experience, and autobiography.
“Alan Gilbert’s The Treatment of Monuments raises a faux-stone memorial to an empire that never was and airbrushes it with beautiful graffiti. It triumphantly renders the score writ in the EKG of worldwide collapse. Ambivalent visionaries are wriggling out of the rubble; edifices as obstinately obsolete as the wreckage itself fill their pages.” —Ben Doller