Roberson's dense poetry has achieved acclaim (this collection won the 1994 Iowa Poetry Prize) while he has maintained a low profile as a university administrator. But a combination of public and private interests occupies this volume, which features two long poetic cycles reminiscent of Pound's Cantos. The 50-page sequence (including 45 13-line poems titled "This Week's Concerts") is contained within the elliptical "Lucid Interval as Integral Music" and considers a broad range of American themes-war, racism, assassinations and urban violence. Lines like "had given blue feet to police siren such/ that I thought the scream a jazz jade bowl and a step" achieve coherence as images of America in disarray are repeated, varied and replayed. "The Aerialist Narratives" is a more personal, somewhat autobiographical sequence about relationships, centered around the images of the moon. Roberson is downright straightforward here-"The trees on the other side of the rapids didn't/ impart the peace we'd set off our escape for"-although it's impossible to pin down "facts" about much of the poet's life. (An introduction by Andrew Welsh gives some of that information, but its laudatory tone ill-serves the work itself.) Roberson's simple message, however, that things in life are hard to pin down, is reiterated with authority in numerous ways throughout this complex, fine collection.