In Angles of Disorder, Zachary C. Bush paints dreamlike portraits that read like a cross between bizarro fiction (e.g., Andersen Prunty’s The Beard) and the films of David Lynch. With respect to the latter comparison, it would be entirely appropriate to make brief film versions of Bush’s vignettes featuring strobe lights, red curtains, and backward-talking characters. For instance, in “The [Related] Parts of a Family,” a girl walks into a room after being away for a year only to find her father dissecting an accordion on the rug. The accordion, however, turns out not to be an accordion at all, but the girl’s uncle. Similarly odd scenes occur throughout the remainder of this volume, many featuring a recurring cast of characters, including the uncle who became an accordion. In addition, Bush offers a meditation on death: a poem titled “WHEN YOU ARE DEAD” repeats the lines, “You hear no echoes/WHEN YOU ARE DEAD” about two dozen times, the intended irony of which, of course, is that the sheer repetition of the line implies that echoes are all one hears when one is dead. In a somewhat less explicable poem titled “What Pain They Must Feel!” Bush repeats the line, “There are children trapped inside my face” thirty times, varying the number of exclamation points at the end of each line to signify a change in the emotional intensity of each iteration of the sentence.
Providing an explanation for all of this (sort of) is a poem titled “The Vortex/&Memory,” which, like Tom Holmes’ recent collection, Henri, Sophie, & the Heiratic Head of Ezra Pound, invokes Vorticism to shed light on the poet’s aesthetic sensibilities. In this long poem, Bush writes, “I wanted to/Burn all books” and, later, “I wanted to/Speak the language/Of the future — sign/Nonsensical symbols/–Nothing.” Within these parameters, Angles of Disorder is an unqualified success.