Cinema of the Present by Lisa Robertson
Coach House Books, October 2014
Amazon / Coach House Books
Lisa Robertson’s works inhabit the charged space between poetic intricacy and essayistic inquiry. A slight shuddering movement between forms can be tracked from work to work, from the hybrid-creature Xeclogue, to the poetry collection Magenta Soul Whip, and then up to the essays—the aporias—of Nilling. This characteristic oscillation of form can be distilled, too, from line to line: a statement questions while it revives; it can be read as a note on the archaeology of address, or recited as an ode. But if the ode wore velvet, or some other provocative material, such as resin.
Read the full review here.
Ella Longpre is a writer and musician living under a mountain. Her work can be found here.
Congratulations to JKS MFA candidate Matt Pincus on his recent reviews!
Let Go and Go On and On by Tim Kinsella on BookSlut
Louis XXX by George Bataille on Pank’s Website
The Whack-Job Girls by Bonnie ZoBell on Pank’s Website
Cunt Norton by Dodie Bellamy in RainTaxi
What’s the Deal by Rod Smith on the Volta 365 Blog
OK Tony by Cyrus Console on the Volta 365 Blog
Matt Pincus was born and raised in San Diego, CA. He received a B.A. from Pitzer College in English and World Literature and is currently an M.F.A. candidate at Naropa University’s Writing and Poetics program. He is a review contributor for PANK, the Volta 365 blog, RainTaxi and Bookslut.
Reviewed by Thomas Fink
Michelle Naka Pierce’s long poem, Continuous Frieze Bordering Red, examines how others identify the poet’s speaker based on social structures of racial differentiation and hierarchy, as well as how she entertains strategies of self-identification or resistance and identifications. “Born in Japan” (back cover), Pierce is the daughter of a Japanese mother and “white” “American” father.
At the outset, Pierce builds in a formal resistance to ordinary reading. Like most books, Continuous Frieze Bordering Red gives no instructions about how to read it vertically and/or horizontally. But as soon as I tried to read the first page in the “normal” way, I found an especially severe disjunction—both grammatically (a preposition followed by a capitalized subject, then a verb) and thematically—between the third line and the one below it, and after that, frequent patterns of disruption.
Some trial and error ensued, and then I discovered that ordinary syntax and greater flow are preserved if I assume a continuity between the first line, read from left to right, and the first line of the next page all the way to the book’s end, and then follow the second line from page 1 to 68, and so on, until the fifth and final line. And yet the bottom of pages 21 through 32 each feature two to four vertically proceeding lines of verse, often with multiple indentations, near the bottom of the page.
Read the full review here!