You’d think, with the hurricane, that I would have gotten a lot more reading done. You’d also be wrong.
Yeah, no, my OCD was not having it with the read-n-relax mentality. We were totally fine, I swear, the weather did little more than make us very wet, but my brain was in a steady state of “if we’re calm it means we’ve forgotten something!” Suffice to say I took advantage of every minute by…. vacuuming the house every single day….washing five loads of laundry…..getting groceries three times… Just. Stuff. To be ready. In case.
In fairness, we get very very bad snow storms at home where the power will be out for a week, often two. And trust me, once the electricity cuts out and has been gone for days, you’re glad when all your sheets and underwear are clean and there are no cat-fur tumbleweeds rolling in the living room. It makes making-do a little more bearable.
Anyway. The books! The poems!
Of my list, I read everything except BEAST MERIDIAN and IF THEY COME FOR US, because I ordered them via inter-library loan, and then the university was totally closed for six days in a row. In one sense, 10/10. More realistically, 10/12. Still, a good ratio.
Ada’s poems are absolutely deft and delightful. The plurality of voices is what had me hooked—that a single voice could speak in layers, and that voices could call and respond to one another—these are things beyond my hand that fascinate me. No one else has written love in a was I understand, not nearly so clearly or so brutally as Ada.
and dearest, can you
tell, I am trying
to love you less
Aimee’s LUCKY FISH is the kind of book I needed to sit with for a while—a go-and-come-back book. It’s not just that her images were startling or that the mouthy sound-sex of her diction leaves you off-kilter, leaning against the white space like it’ll prop you upright. I needed a minute because I needed a way in. I didn’t get that until the book’s third section, when the voices leaves the memory-abstract and steps inside a physical present-tense body. Is it selfish of me as a reader to want such a thing? Like a cat who likes her door-flap just so? Of course it’s selfish, this my favourites list. If you’re here for Aristotelian theory you’ve got another thing coming.
Eloisa had me from the first poem, from the first violent lick of tension between mother and daughter (I’m a girl of simple ticks). When I am ready to be naked again, I will fall back into its pages. I sincerely want to take After Sylvia Plath out and put it on my wall. I might yet.
Gabrielle’s THE LAST TIME I SAW AMELIA EARHART was leagues and away my favourite this week. It will likely remain in my frequent reading rotation (once I get my own copy, I’m being very tender with the university library copy for now). She makes the abject both real and lived-in, disgusting and loved and human. Her writing has a density of literary+contemporary meaning that makes me think if you put a New York Schoolie and a Confessional in a martini shaker, AMELIA EARHART is close to what you’d have poured into your glass. She allows her subjects to roll around in their own guts and gore. It reminds me so much of Barbara Gowdy’s short fiction and Heidi Czerweick’s CONJOINING that I want to introduce them like a matchmaker. THE LAST TIME I SAW AMELIA EARHART takes the cake this week…or, maybe: It takes the knife and its slipping hand. Calvocoressi takes the gashed palm, with or without stitches.