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Jean Day
The I and the You

111 pages
ISBN 0-937013-41-2


What seems to be the case about our collective time: either a mental breakdown or a mental breakthrough is about to occur... The project for the poet is to lead us toward the latter, to stake everything on the potential for transformation in all that is terrifying now... Disassociation between mind and body, between world and self... These have to be studied and articulated by the poet. it is her assignment. Few take it on, but in this volume, Jean Day has, and wholeheartedly.
--Fanny Howe

Against "the great rhetoric of the power lords," Jean Day employs an intimate, elliptical style that uncovers startling new spaces, right here on urban earth. "I don't speak for everyone/ but for the brave and curious/ alien," she writes, moving in and out of the crowd with a kind of wise-acre puritanism. It is her pleasure to tease meaning out from under the sheets of being a person. In a refracted account of a sojourn in Russia with native and fellow traveling poets, she locates a sense of the irrational that is neither out-of-control nor self-destructive, but generative, flashing possibility. The title poem is more like musical mind tunes. The life of these poems has only begun. They will surprise us far into the future.
--Kit Robinson

Sixty years ago, Stein in Paris could write of Oaklad, California, "There is no there there" and--wit, smugness, and anxiety aside--mean something that pointed steadily to her own writing. Today, "If here isn't here, then where is it?" is a question anyone could ask. How to write out of that spot is a next question.

The I and the You was written in Oakland and is a detailed answer. Jean Day's subjects are love, sex, work, and philosophy's absentminded affair with gender. Her writing is quick, skeptical, and passionate enough to stay on the scent of a life present to itself in particular, with the current world for economy.
--Bob Perelman