The Caveat Onus
Books 1,2, 3 and Coda
The Caveat Onus is Dave Brinks' great poem sequence written during and after hurricane Katrina. Pierre Joris says of the series:
"Interweaving I Ching hexagrammatic measures, Mayan calendar arithmetic & totem animals, and an unwobbling axis mundi as line of flight, the complex architectonics of this superb cyclical poem create a counter-word, an act of sympathetic magic, a harnessing of the destructively chaotic energies of hurricane Katrina. Begun eight months before the storm, then moving through the days & weeks that followed, and now paralleling the rebuilding of the city of New Orleans, Dave Brinks' Caveat Onus series is a major poetic and shamanic enactment, as powerful, poetically innovative, and vital in its way as were Charles Olson's admonitions to Gloucester in the Maximus Poems."
Jerome Rothenberg comments:
"The Caveat Onus, for those of us lucky enough to have watched its development, is present in its first installment as a poetry event of consequence, a cycle of poems geared to a life & expressed through a system of words & numbers, that could make it (I would dare to predict) one of the significant long poems of our time. Pivoting on the number 13 & never abandoning its symmetries & variations, it charts the works & days of Dave Brinks, citizen of New Orleans before & after the floods, world traveler in the ways that really count."
After initial publication by Lavender Ink, the series of 4 books was collected into a single volume by Black Widow Press. There are still a limited number of the original, separate volumes, signed and lettered by the author, available for purchase in complete sets only. Each set of four books is consistently lettered and signed.
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