In The Arcades, Davidson juxtaposes the imaginary ideal against the “junk” of contemporary culture, the Romantic dream of the exotic with a contemporary world filled with cheap materiality. The Arcades is a beautiful and lyrical volume of poetry, just as it is gritty and honest about our declining civilization.
Praise for The Arcades
From deep within the belly of the beast, where desire and denial dance, where M. Capital and Mme. Earth ghostwalk together and the Angel of History has shed its wings, Michael Davidson has fashioned a work of extraordinary wit, human insight and verbal invention. The game’s afoot, the screw is loose, buy two.
— Michael Palmer
“Great Architecture,” Emerson tells us, “is the flowering of geometry.” But what geometry flowers in a mall? Michael Davidson’s arcadia is a millenarian penmanship, a graphing of the crawlspaces that connect commerce with the new boulevards that “form in the mind.” The first arcade is that vault of “silent typing” where dark sounds are “gurgling in the canal.” Michael Davidson is an architect of our attention, a geometer of sound stanzas.
— Aldon Lynn Nielson
War, commodities, and the body link together this often intensely autobiographical series of poems. Michael Davidson’s most recent collection represents a stunning exploration of the uneasy relation between public and private, pain and pleasure, in our puzzled and puzzling end of the millennium culture.
— Susan Howe