Nicholas Leaskou

'The earth angel, sorting time'

A review of Carrie Hunter's 'Orphan Machines'

Photo of Carrie Hunter (left) by Steffi Drewes, taken March 2016 at the Featherboard Writing Series in Oakland, CA.

In her second full-length collection, Orphan Machines, Carrie Hunter invites readers to share her preoccupations with philosophy, sexuality, and music. Incited by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari — riffing off their “theory of no leaders” philosophy in Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia — Hunter collages their ideological text, using it as palimpsest and backdrop for her own original poems. As in her first collection, The Incompossible, Hunter effortlessly blends private dialogue with public testimony orchestrated in a variety of forms. Orphan Machines drones a bittersweet urban lyric, and by the end readers may also be asking themselves in public, “Should / I fake normalcy or be real?” (79). 

In her second full-length collection, Orphan Machines, Carrie Hunter invites readers to share her preoccupations with philosophy, sexuality, and music.

Nostos — returning home to the self

A review of erica lewis's 'daryl hall is my boyfriend'

After reading erica lewis’s latest poetry collection daryl hall is my boyfriend, a collaboration that later became the first book in a box set trilogy, I felt as if I’d returned an epic hero who found a way back home to selfhood/personhood via a sea of layered memories, triggered by songs that change “even in the remembering.”[1] Stirring up an accessible feeling of Odyssean nostos, or the journey home, lewis prefaces her collection with “this is an album about re-ordering the past”; anyone with room for nostalgia is invited to join the poet on memory’s dance floor.

Song is remedy for loss

A review of Tiff Dressen's 'Songs from the Astral Bestiary'

If I were suffering from some kind of loss in the ancient Hellenic world, I could travel to an Asclepion priestess at Epidaurus and spend the night in an abaton, or sacred space, to ride out my dreams after having been given a “sleep” cure suited to my specific needs. In her first book-length collection, Songs from the Astral Bestiary, Tiff Dressen devises her own abaton made of poetry, taking her reader on a lyrical journey via the dreamscape where song is remedy for loss.

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