Title

Nathaniel Mackey: Poetry Terminable and Interminable

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Talisman: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry & Poetics

Issue

43

Publication Date

2015

Abstract

The poetry of National Book Award winner Nathaniel Mackey is famous for its open-ended serial form. For almost the entirety of his career, Mackey has been writing two intertwined serial poems, The Song of the Andoumboulou and "mu." This article argues that the frequently observed "Gnostic" aspect of Mackey's poetry, its resistance to closure, and its fascination with myth and dream in a cross-cultural context can all be understood psychoanalytically, even therapeutically. In this respect, Mackey's poetry can be understood as an ongoing exercise in psychic healing.