Cover for Cur Aliquid Vidi
  • Series: New Series 08
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-916272-82-1
  • ISBN-10: 0-916272-82-6
  • Pages: 78
  • Size: 0.25 x 6 x 8 in
  • Price: $14.95

Cur Aliquid Vidi

Lance Phillips

Continuing where his Corpus Socius (“companion body”) leaves off, Phillips pursues his poetic investigation into the life of the body human, from infancy through childbirth, aging, and death. Phillips’s shattered and reconstructed syntax results in a minimalism that poet/critic Christine Hume notes “is rare and refreshing in a contemporary setting that insists on beating the Baroque horse unto prolix death… Here you will find a revivified lyric; as Hopkins did, Phillips leads poetry forward by taking it through the back door.”

from Gnomologium
Five hotter smaller nights
Cuffs passing through lip producing “he's dying”
five halters night
smaller halters night


Saying it effectively “chariot” touching near bed


Something (a liquid)





The clutch pear blossoms of it


Proud converting off his skin
reap rapping into the brass frame


Lif-ting lif-ting



He winked efforts


Props up his body good chair calling the name for it paradise black good birds rise
. . .


“It talks to me mostly it hums” Anger
sure at the concern with position
in mind and extending into topos The deepest is the skin


Holding in hyacinth
wild system


Copyright © 2004 by Lance Phillips

“‘Why did I have to see something?’ translates the title to Lance Phillips’ extraordinary second collection, and if the question is Ovid's, it also remains any poet’s who follows the exilic logic of language. Revisioning myth, Cur aliquid vidi mines the eros in language and discovers how it must, ultimately, reachagape. What is the purpose of the exile's word to the community which excludes him? To be instructed by what is absent. Read and be instructed!” —Claudia Keelan

“The voice of this poem-sequence is embedded where the ‘dying’ naturally occurs. Erotic play abounds, its words-made-flesh conceived in guilt further troubled by their future estate within a polis where the mythic endgame of the family romance must play itself out.” —Timothy Liu

“You know how sex can overflow the room and pulsate the trees outside and the books you are reading through the brain in flashes and symmetries and metamorphoses? This book records a coupling gone infinite. As I read I could feel the light in the room and the words in it collapsing together and rearranging themselves. That’s intimacy. We should all have such sex and be so faithful.” —Catherine Wagner

“Lance Phillips’ poems are incandescent, strange in the best way (human), a ‘wild system’ where language’s physics accelerate into specific physicalities (rustling, flying), at once rarified and immediate, latinate and gloriously made-up.”—Lee Ann Brown