BK Fischer

Disambiguating rape culture

Lynn Melnick’s nouns

Photo of Lynn Melnick (left) by Timothy Donnelly.

Gertrude Stein never trusted nouns. She was wary of their tendency to fossilize meaning, even as she relished their potential to be magnetized: “Poetry is concerned with using with abusing, with losing with wanting, with denying with avoiding with adoring with replacing the noun.”[1] Lynn Melnick’s Landscape with Sex and Violence, eighty years later, takes up this ambivalent and vexed embrace of nouns in the space of rape culture, where adoring and wanting cross use and abuse as matters graver than grammatical concern.

'A non-sequitur is a song of experience'

A review of Lyn Hejinian's 'The Unfollowing'

“Many lines function self-descriptively, even synecdochally. […] And yet each line is a discrete instance, a resistance to that impulse to conjoin, maintaining the granularity of the parts in relation to the whole.” Photo by Julia Bloch.

The commonplace that the disorientations and ruptures of contemporary life require an equally disjunctive poetics has led many poets writing today to court the non sequitur as determinedly as a debater might avoid it. In traditional logic and rhetoric, a non sequitur — Latin for “it does not follow” — is a mistake, a fallacy, an inference that does not follow from the premises or evidence.

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