In his newest and third collection of poems, The Tranquilized Tongue, Eric Baus meditates on the prosody of language through a series of enigmatic and surrealist sentences. With titles such as “The Panoramic Murmur” and “The Corporeal Cliff” and a form that is both repetitive and conceptually allowed to transform, Baus delights in creating new meanings through a steady stream of declarative sentences–sometimes bordering on the mystical, sometimes on the impossible–that create a kind of roiling landscape of images. Quite thrilling to read.
Here are several selections from throughout The Tranquilized Tongue:
“The Microphone’s Moan”
The frequency for speaking through feathers decoded the owls in the distance.The projector posed as the skin of a parchment devoted to datura leaves. The codex spliced a photo of hives with the names of newborn stars. The references bred. The curtains corroded. The foam pools painted over a locust.
“The Cadaver Moth”
The clinging wings.
The tiny skull.
The embedded boy.
“The Suspended Pulse”
The doubled brother appeared inside the corner of an enclosed eye. The fluid fastened to the sleeping boy’s head. The troubled lid steamed open. The reflections compared exhaust. The others brushed. The abandoned rows of scales revived the fuses in the twin’s brain. The remains of the destroyed address entered a perfect circuit. The post-humous moan replaced the alias another voice once answered.
“The Cobra’s Pollen”
The profane flora infused the sonar suspended in a single drop of ibis saliva.