Review #81: ‘Hider Roser’ by Ben Mirov

  • PUBLISHED BY: Octopus Books, 2012
  • REVIEW BY: Timothy Liu


In this anagrammatically titled treasure trove, Ben Mirov gets off to a wild gallop and stays square on his bareback horse (or yak!): “Journey to the place / of no more thinking. / Ten Thousand steps // up the head of a yak. / Serious doubts about the atom. / Never use a saddle.” He’s part Zen monk, part Erotic Double of that ilk Ashbery once famously quipped, “The wordplay / Between us gets very intense when there are / Fewer feelings around to confuse things.” But make no mistake (or make many mistakes as Ben Mirov would have each and every one of us do), what’s being dished out here is less New-York-School Papaya Dogs and more of an Eastern-European infused Šalamun pâté served on a crisp cracker with a sprig of Tate for garnish. Hell, make that a deep dark forest smothering an entire planet with its surreal verdure, its bravura sprezzatura: “They don’t teach you this in college / or how to deal with moving faster than the speed of light / into a brick wall / but that’s how I got my diploma / knocking around in the chrysalis / until they pulled me out / and the figment in my wings dried / and my tongue refused to bifurcate.” We’ve recently lost some Giants (Edson, Knott), but feed the wood chipper enough dead wood and you get a lifetime supply of litter to carpet your rusty cage all the way to the stars where fear no longer rei(g)ns, Mirov racing ahead on his squeaky prosaic wheel.

Disclosures: During this 100/100 project at Coldfront, I’ve often asked poets to name one book I must read. That’s how Hider Roser fell into my lap, and for this I thank the cosmic gods.

Favorites: From the Corner of My Bathysphere I Write To You of Love, I Is To Vorticism, Writing By a Method I Call Being a Jerk, Orgasmanism, For Ben Mirror, The Poem Addresses Ben Mirov in a State of Inconsolable Grief, Transmission from the Center of Ben Mirov, Dove Life, You May Experience Seepage, Automatic Teller Machine, You May Be Disappointed with the Results of Your Test, Moonlight in the Forest of Mistakes, Mr. Squiggles, Lifetime Achievement, Instructions.

Read Mirov at Diagram.