Schmeer operates out of a simplistic prose poem theory. When he cannot saddle John Olson's rambunctuous and unpredictable sallies and branchings, he pouts: tin ear, poor stream of conscious imitation of Gertrude Stein (Olson's writings actually have little to do with Stein--even tho there is a fascinating homage to Stein in this book--he is much more akin to the Jackson Mac Low of Pieces O' Six--that is, in Olson, we have a granular, self-listening language, surging in jump cuts and waves, sometimes purely associational, sometimes with a "subject," which becomes the stem of branching variations).
Rather than seek a weak phrase or limp line (any poet, Stevens as well as Olson, can be made to look stupid by singling out the occasional botch and highlighting it), Mr Schmeer (one wonders if this is a pseudonym--if it is not, alas) should have focused on what Olson can do. For, in my opinion, Olson is the most dynamic and far-ranging prose poet of the last fifty
years. He has, like Robert Kelly, an extraordinarily inventive imagination, and he takes real risks, another reason to praise him.
At the point that the reader puts on critical pajamas, imaginative delight falls asleep. So Schmeer becomes a lie detector diviner, looking for howlers.
It must be acknowledged that Olson, at times, zigs like a digger wasp seeking an unknown host! Wonderful! Such are the perils for one of our masters, exercising, like Robert Duncan and Rommel, "his faculties at large."