Book Review :: Rule of Composition by Steve Timm
Guest Post by Nicholas Michael Ravnikar
The latest book from Steve Timm, Rule of Composition, more than resembles jazz. Giant-of-the-art Cecil Taylor’s album with the Feel Trio, 2 Ts for a lovely T, forms the basis for Timm’s book’s division into “listens,” when the author wrote as an improvisational accompaniment to the 10-CD set. While Timm is 21st Century Wisconsin’s answer to Russian zaum poetry and Dadaist soundscapes, he also diffuses a hyper-inflationary poetics into the nonce words others might dash throughout lyric pieces or isolate in austere minimal poems, spinning out syntactic, phonetic and morphemic swerves — each of which he entrusts to readers’ decipherment. Lines blatz across pages from “Marry pensile attribles / join the scuchus suqologue” to “that’s myander enjourn?” so that “a lipe shangs in the bilence / zeroes aglitter.” Once clought in Timm’s whipnotic enburgonment, the mive glences bursht ignoblistervly. To call his work word-salad by no means disparages it; rather, it suggests a need to elevate the art of the farrago in the culinary imagination. For anyone tired of literature that tells you what or how to think, the book can be purchased online and in-person through Woodland Pattern Book Center and A Room of One’s Own.
Rule of Composition by Steve Timm. Bananaquit Press, 2022.
Reviewer bio: Nicholas Michael Ravnikar makes understanding look like overthinking. He’s currently disabled with mental illnesses. Married with two kids, he enjoys cooking, exercise and meditation. Stay in touch via social media and download free books at bio.fm/nicholasmichaelravnikar.
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