Common Time

2013 Colorado Book Awards Finalist!

Chris Pusateri’s Common Time is available in paper from Amazon and as a Kindle edition.

Common Time is a “collection” in the best sense, a self-consciously accretive book; here, meanings precipitate out of the nonsense detritus of the working day and observations tighten into aphorism. Pusateri’s method exposes the paths that obstruct meaning and those that allow it to accrue: “There is a grid within/what we utter,/within phonemes, associations form/and dissolve like flies on bison.” A humane, wise, and wicked smart book.

Taking his cue from Glenn Gould’s “two take” recording process, Chris Pusateri’s Common Time deftly scores and splices the linguistic year… [and] reminds us [that] “to read is to be not informed, but devoted.”

Originally conceived as three discrete books, Common Time takes pianist Glenn Gould’s notion of the two-take as its procedural centerpiece, soldering together sections from each of the three finished versions and combining them to make one final work. But unlike Gould’s idea of an authoritative masterwork built from multiple versions of an original piece, Chris Pusateri turns the telescope backwards, making of this brokenness a meditation on what it means to compose, to couple, to comprehend.

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