Jennifer Scappettone, from Dame Quickly (Litmus Press, 2009), 101 pp., 15.00 —Superficially, Scappettone’s first book of poetry and art resembles Stephanie Young’s Picture Palace enough—texts abutted by images near the end of each book—that I once had them paired for a course that, unfortunately, never materialized. I wanted to explore and exploit the formal, and thus significant, differences between them.
Julian Brolaski, gowanus atropolis (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2011), 104 pp., $15.00—Usage begets and outpaces grammatical and syntactical rules. In that sense, usage is equivalent in value to adaptation in evolution. Temporal events, both usage and adaptation nonetheless function within the constraints of an epoch, given to any “us” as the architectonics of space and structure.
Eleni Sikelianos, Body Clock (Coffeehouse Press, 2008), 149 pp., $18.00—As a project that began out of the trauma of temporary agraphia and aphasia, Body Clock is the eight-part “record” of Sikelianos’ “return” to language, a journey marked here by the coming to “human” of her newborn.
Yedda Morrison, girl scout nation (Displaced Press, 2008), 100 pp.; Marie Buck, Life & Style (Patrick Lovelace Editions, 2009), 54 pp.—How do you make a girl? In their different ways, these two books address that question. Divided into three individually paginated sections, Yedda Morrison’s book functions as a kind of triptych.
Steve Dickison, Disposed (The Post-Apollo Press, 2007), 49 pp.; Erika Staiti, In The Stitches (Trafficker Press, 2010), 39 pp.—What is the significance of symmetry as a manifestation of proceduralism? This is one of the questions Dickison's book and Staiti's chapbook address in relation to private and public, personal and social, bodies. For Dickison, the penchant for writing is, as it was for a tradition preceding and succeeding Freud, inescapable from neuroses modified into acceptable behaviors. These are posed against another meaning of disposed, those “others” for whom English is a second language (“may I use please your phone to carry some speech?”), for whom law and order is meaningful force (“what brand of people come invested in/plastic handcuffs?”), so easily reduced to the noun (disposal), the excrement of the social.