David Mutschlecner is the author of Sign (2007) and Esse (2002), both from Ahsahta Press, and Veils, from Stride (UK).
Through its sparse yet expansive lyricism, this book enacts “a complex gestural nest” where thought is created in the spaces between poets and philosophers (Stein, Dante, Heidegger) and visual artists (Agnes Martin, the Gee’s Bend Quilters). This intertextuality bares the poem to its historical tendons, where a taxidermied swallow may thrive as a bottled ship. The poet's work is questioned and affirmed as song that exists “at the center of incredible volume.”
“A serial poem, a poetics, a discourse on philosophy and religion, an essay about visual art, and an extended meditation on form and devotion—Enigma and Light is all of these, itself a form of devotion through whose graceful lines ‘thought rolls and turns.’ Aware that ‘we have come / close as we can / to severing being // from meaning,’ Mutschlecner’s poems attempt to restore to our language an ontological strangeness that comes from the ‘flood of otherness in faith.’ ‘Let meaning bless measure,’ Mutschlecner writes, ‘and measure / meaning.’ Reader—in this book, they do.”