Reviews

Creative defense

Pafunda's 'Natural History Rape Museum'

(Italics are Pafunda’s)

Here is the tug of it, the long sweep down: You get this from binary systems agreed upon
before you
arrived. Where is
your rage?

If you have
brought it, if you
can carry it: Then proceed.

Dear Andrew Levy

June 6, 2013

Dear Andrew Levy,

In my copy of Nothing Is in Here, on page one, a mark shaped like an upright rectangle with the top left corner shorn off at a steep angle sits between the words in the phrase “vanilla middle.” It looks as though it could be an inkblot. I found myself wondering if this stray mark had meaning, sitting as it did in the middle of the phrase “vanilla middle.” But why would the “vanilla” middle be black?

I made a mental note to return to the mark once I’d finished the book.

(Soma)tic poetry reading enhancement

Andrea Rexilius's 'New Organism'

MAKE SOUP but you are reading. Make your body from soup infused with poems. Read pages from NEW ORGANISM directly into the vegetables. My soup had parsnips, cauliflower, beets, and sweet potato, with sautéed brussel sprouts and garlic-filled polenta fritters. READ these marvelous poems INTO the parsnip, “Discontinuous residence of story / Aperture in the holding space,” then float it in the pot of heating water. The soup absorbing poetry and we will taste these poems. Read into the water just before it boils, “Society writes her desire, fucking, end-stopped, overflowing.

Becoming-language

On TC Tolbert's 'Gephyromania'

TC Tolbert’s poetry collection Gephyromania plays with, problematizes, and bridges various subjectivities and concepts of the body, identity, and text. Throughout multiple readings, Tolbert’s language creates a sustained state of anticipation, evoking a feeling of bodily movement (in both reader and author) not inappropriate for a volume whose title refers to an obsession with bridges. A bridge both separates and unites, just like a long-distance communication. What follows here is a review in the form of an unsent epistolary blast.

Dear Aaron Shurin

April 16, 2013

Dear Aaron Shurin,

I started reading Citizen on a train from Grand Central Station to New Haven last Friday. I’d had a meeting in the city in the morning. Afterwards I met my friend Paul for lunch. I caught the 1:34 train. It was raining. On the way into the city, I finished reading C, a novel by Tom McCarthy. I had figured this would happen, so I brought your book for the ride home.