check out this new review of Bin Ramke’s Tendril (Omnidawn, 2007), written by Cynthia Hogue at Chant de la Sirene.


One might never think that Bin Ramke’s Tendril (Omnidawn 2007)—built on a careful investigation of the history of the bicameral mind (or schizophrenia), mathematical logic, Greek prosody, and metonymically, etymologically lyric poetry—is haunted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which arrived over the course of a month (this month, as it happens, for I am writing in late September), making landfall within a few hundred miles of each other. Tendril is a complex book, drawing its inspiration from a resonant range of sources, but I was given this book at a Symposium on Hurricane Katrina at the University of Denver, “After the Storm: No Calm” (organized by former New Orleans resident Jessica Munns), and therefore my reference point is hearing Ramke read the title sequence in the context of that very destructive month in 2005 — putting the “ear” in “tears.” Few knew how to respond to the sheer magnitude of the destruction, even, famously or infamously, the government. But if one has some personal tether to Louisiana, as I do, something broke open that doesn’t close. Some . . . I don’t know . . . call it an attentiveness to all that the hurricanes stirred up: what had been hidden was now revealed. Call it not forgetting.