Suite of Dances is composed of a series of apparently disconnected statements in verse. A slight detour can help highlight the central formal questions at work in this book. In Wittgenstein’s Ladder: Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary, Marjorie Perloff describes what Herman Rapaport called “negative serialization”:
Artifact, from the Latin arte, “by or using art,” + factum, “something made.” But an “artefact,” in French, is also something accidental, a residual effect created by human beings that distorts observation of a natural phenomenon, like footsteps distorting a seismic measurement. Jennifer K. Dick’s Lilith revolves in part around this ambiguous status between the accidental and the deliberately formed: the reader encounters a series of enigmatic textual objects that seem alternately laden with meaning.