King Harvest has surely comeBarasch has made a frame for the November-election madness, a book of poems to haunt history.
Barasch’s take is richer: Think Calvino working a poetic exercise in
history. The dreams drift lazily over the harder prose of the
footnotes, forming a world saturated with sexual imagery and guilt
about slavery and imperialism. Melancholic presidents wander the White
House hallways, grieving over dead children and spouses. Lillian Gish
and Marilyn Monroe, who were half ghosts already, rub against some
dreams’ surfaces. The poems are smoke curling around the presidents,
something like the fantasy air around the ad men on TV drama Mad Men,
which could’ve easily been Barasch’s title.