Hummer is one of my favorite poets, and this book is distinct and powerful. It's a suite of poems, based on jazz and blues musicians, but it also tells the cultural history of the country--especially from the 40s through the 70s--through the lives of those musicians, who were tortured, sometimes, troubled, but also visionary. The section "about" Sun Ra is especially powerful. Are you sick of smartaleck poetry, or unreadable oblique verse, or unpeopled deconstructions of, well, whatever? Me too. Read Hummer. He's the real thing.