The Totality for Kids

Joshua Clover

If, as some critics say, the source of narrative poetry is always history, and the source of language poetry is always imagination, then this collection from UC Davis professor Joshua Clover is a romp through a limitless imagination. Clover, who is firmly within the current avant garde trend in poetry, is also well-known as a film critic. He taps into the consciousness of impending doom that permeates contemporary life and bears witness to the disillusionment of the urban crowd. While the totality of The Totality for Kids is a great undertaking, it’s best in small pieces, like these lines from “Late Style”: “A dark shadow of friendship began to appear. / It is beautiful because most music / is not very good.” These poems, like many films, are not for everyone, but they don’t pretend to be.