The poem, "Period Style," is one of three excellent longer poems in the book, along with "Prescription Window"and "The Widow Ching Poems," and the three are strikingly different. "Prescription Window" alternates long lines and short lines while also alternating left justification and right justification to original and intriguing effect, and the Widow Ching sequence handles the theme of love well, and we can always use more of those.
Shall I sing
(I rarely sing)
of the patina
the name unlike the name
that came relinquishing the fleet
The Lustre of True Instruction
Lovely, no? A little like Cummings filtered through Pound's Cathay.
Since Doller's last book, FAQ (see LLL, January 2010), was a programmatic work with fairly exacting constraints, Dead Ahead was bound to be more formally and tonally various, but I'm happy to see it's even more formally and tonally various than it had any need to be. Doller is now three-for-three in my book, definitely on my List of Reliables.