Too Much Johnson    
Michael Gizzi    

The Figures/Hard Press
Paperback, 1999
ISBN: 0-935724-96-6

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Too Much Johnson is its own one-book genre: a sub Shakespeare/ sub Dostoevski speedfest peppered with pop nihilist one-liners that purport to be the inside scoop on the human condition. It's Shakespeare ravaged by airplane glue; a geek Dostoevski bebopping the bad bugaloo -- James Ellroy, from the Introduction.

Proceeding on E.M. Cioran's belief that all inspiration proceeds from a faculty of exaggeration, Michael Gizzi's new book pulls taut -- nearly to the point of bursting -- the sagging borders of lyric poetry: Suddenly there was one/ lying on his bum Paris in one/ hand crustaceans in the other/ and glow worms on the swan/ in question but not a typo but the air/ of a mandarin with three/ pigtails whose knock knacks/ perform acts no practical object/ would dream of ... (A Planetary Drip). Michael Gizzi is the author, most recently, of INTERFERON (The Figures) and NO BOTH (Hard Press/The Figures). He lives and works in Lenox, Massachusetts.

From Reviews of No Both:

A book this quick with syntactic changes, this synthetic in its cultural reach, this driven to rhythmical extremes, and this mindful of what is singular and what is communicable in suffering, is nothing less than a revitalizing shock to the system.

--Steve Evans, Poetics Journal

Michael Gizzi's poetics keep words alive at all points of intersection with the reader. His work is a virtuoso liberation of world from context.

--Mark DuCharme, Poetry Project Newsletter

Take twice daily until your meningitis of ambivalence over what "experiemental," "emotion," and the "lyric" mean to forward-thinking verse shrinks into an eyecup full of negatively charged bon-bons.

--Tim Davis, The Boston Book Review

Copyright 2003 Geoffrey Young. All Rights Reserved