First published by Talonbooks in 1985, Specks was published in a new edition in 2012, with an new introduction by Paul Nelson.
Michael McClure expands upon Charles Olson’s proprioceptive poetic with Aristotelian metaphysics, Lorca’s duende, environmental awareness, and biological exploration.
Specks assumes the form of a blastula, offering a poetic model of embryonic development that arises from the cellular division known as “cleavage.” It presents groupings of ideas that mimic and challenge one another in a deep biological state. With mind aglow in recognition of muscular imagination and the intelligence of the sensorium in all its unapologetic tonality, McClure’s luminous journey leaps with the grace of Muhammad Ali and Fred Astaire, and tempts the reader into the mysterious abyss of dark energy that Federico Garcia Lorca calls duende.
“What appeals to me most about [McClure’s] poems is the fury and the imagery of them. I love the vividness of his reactions and the very personal turns and swirls of the lines. The worlds in which I myself live, the private world of personal reactions, the biological world (animals and plants and even bacteria chase each other through these poems), the world of the atom and the molecule, the stars and the galaxies, are all there; and in between, above and below, stands man, the howling mammal, contrived out of ‘meat’ by chance and necessity. If I were a poet I would write like Michael McClure – if only I had his talent.” —Nobel Laureate Francis Crick
Year: 2012 (2nd edition)