ENGINES OF DESIRE contains poems that Robert Bly called “Inquiet. Struggling to come forth and be born” and Alan Ginsberg compared to “a machine doing a striptease”. They deal with the heart as a wandering machine, the world as a setup, the body as worthy of notice. It’s surprising that most of these poems were written thirty years ago, but now, after many printings by many imprints, they are once again available.
Publisher notes: This re-issue of the fabled X Press edition of ENGINES OF DESIRE has already created a wave of renewed interest in Robinson, and the rings of poets in Seventies Seattle and Nineties Baja California. We’re glad to make this available in this inexpensive pocket format, and to include some more recent work.
These are poems that cut on several edges: anti-academic in approach, working the borderlines between poetry and rock lyrics, oral readings, “slams” and journals. Coming out of the reading series/street performance ethic of getting past referents and visual images to return to common emotions and auditory sounds, these poems still stand within the canon of “book poems” worth reading off the page. The stripped-down status, the unleveled gaze, the commitment to post-modernism without the self-consciousness are all directions being taken by contemporary international poets who work the internet rather than seminars and state presses.