Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Holy crap! Thanks, Jasper, for bringing my attention to the work of Jennifer Scappettone. The poems with the thin black lines across the page ("The Carapace" at that link and also this excerpt from a poem called "Beauty (Is the New Absurdity") produced instantaneously the jealous "Wish I'd written that" reaction that is the hallmark of exciting poetry. Something about the way the lines organize the page (it's more obvious with "Beauty" since you can see the whole thing at a glance) means the words themselves don't have to do as much structural heavy lifting—and what words! Gorgeous Shakespeare's skull cracked open and Baudelaire's black flag planted there: "we opheliacs under altered ocean fishes under spell of the pill & silver like"; "swear to me upon a parcel-gilt goblet, sitting in my Dolphin chamber, // at the round table, by a sea-coal fire, upon Wednesday in Wheeson week // whose frequency makes of ugliness a duty till Daybreak." Feel like I've dropped in on an epic in progress, or at least a method and sensibility capable of considerable scope that marries lyric to the social, to the event. Jealous, jealous. What can I steal for Kiosk/Stylus?

Does this woman have a book? If not, why not? Somebody publish one, immediately!

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