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Ode to certain interstates and Other Poems

“Robertson has found a poetic style that is long, loose and meandering, the better to catch the flow of his thought. His sentences go on for long stretches of the page, collecting learned references, memories and more immediate experiences and distilling them into purer formulations, before linking them to other matters. At their best, these verses convince us that they capture the real spinning of a human mind, unedited and unmediated by inauthentic concerns.

“Easy and dreamy, his lines come to us and depart like the Western landscapes we drive through. Topography and tangential meditations mix. Robertson is an ambitious philosopher, concerned with fundamental questions of being, essence, and the nature of the universe. Robertson's conclusions are poetic. The metaphysics are part of his own flow, the texture of his thought, and they give way willingly to images, longings, bits of history and rest-stop meals along the interstate.

“The book allows us to map Robertson, his personal latitude and longitude. It is a Northwestern cartography, and like his poems in general, it is heavy on Native American references. Robertson senses that a crucial human presence here predates his own and those of other Euro-Americans who migrated here, and he regrets how distant it is to him.

“What makes Robertson interesting, finally, is a cosmic sort of honesty. He wrestles with problems he cannot prove, he admits his failings and shortcomings, he moves restlessly through literature and the world, and ultimately he locates himself among his loved ones and in his place, which is all the more interesting because it is our place, too.” 

--The Portland Oregonian