Jeff Pew


Jeff Pew and Stephen Roxborough initiated "Projekt bill" with an Internet call asking poets to send poems "about bill" for possible inclusion in a "meaningful anthology." radiant danse uv being is the result.

The title of the book and the "projekt" signal what happens when people enter the world of "biseteez" (as Jamie Reid names bissett's language): they start spelling differently and stop spelling the same. "Spelling" starts being about wizards, not just about dictionaries. Dictionaries stop being so important and witchery starts bucking centuries of nasty prejudices.

And without saying so, biseteez says "lighten up" in more ways than stop clinging to your dictionary fantasies of "(in)korrekt thots." Several poems in the anthology brilliantly capture this release. J Ocean Dennie's "annihilation uv p om" dramatizes it-a reversal of the way Word's spell-checker is right now, dramatizing on screen its resistance to these orthographic and ultimately thinking mistakes. Dennie calls the "annihilation" brought about by biseteez a moment when "something happy happens inside. / A waterfall of wonder washes over one."

Other people approach the inspiration topic differently. Leonard Cohen's brief poem, "dear bill," thanks him "for leaving nothing out." Possibility is a very inclusive theme that bissett offers generously. Margaret Atwood's "Astral Twin" tells the thoughts of a person gazing at a picture by bill of a person gazing at the viewer. In a note at the end of the book, Atwood suggests that she and bissett are astral twins.

The poems in radiant danse uv being do what poems do best: put into words magic.

Reviewer: Thomas M.F. Gerry