Paul Muldoon
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
The horse latitudes are those places in the various oceans where sailors push horses and cows and possibly even people overboard to lighten the load in long-becalmed sailing vessels. It is also one of the songs by The Doors, from their album "Strange Days." It is also Muldoon's tenth book of verse.

His subjects here include the Nashville skyline ("hem and haw") along with "contractual mire and murk." There is "hip-hirple / white horse against purple" and a woman named Carlotta who is "proud-fleshed," which, according to my OED, means she's well-scarred.

There is some mulling (or Muldooning) over the "price of gasoline" and "crude oil Bush" and there are "90 Instant Messages to Tom Moore," including #I:

    Jim-jams and whim-whams
    where the whalers still heave to
    for a gammy-gam.

LXXVII offers up

    Guess what Easter meant
    to horse-mad May and Myrtle.
    A three-day event.

XXX reveals that

    The Arabian
    constantly raising the bar.
    It's penis-paean.

There are a fair number of phrases sprinkled around that --- dumb me --- I don't get. Like "mummer stones" and "shoulders in a moult" and "Gormley's cuff" and "Seigneur Cymbal."

Muldoon has won the Pulitzer Prize and teaches at Princeton and has encomiums aplenty from the likes of the NYRB and the New York Times but I'm thinking most of this stuff is pure jim-jammery, gammy-gamery, or, at best, flim-flammery.

--- Lolita Lark
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