Thursday, February 16, 2006

I don't have anything new to say about Kent Johnson's Lyric Poetry after Auschwitz, but reading through Ron's comments field I discovered a poet who calls herself Lilac, and who has a blog: Carmen Is a Cat. She's apparently a Muslim who divides her time between Beirut and Arizona and her poetry is fierce and strange and exceptionally provocative, impossible to drop into the tired old left- and center-left slots that are accorded to the American post-avant and mainstream poetries respectively. I get a sense of real personal risk reading her, akin to what I feel reading Kent himself—whose book of epigrammatic insults about you and me is forthcoming and sure to raise a shitstorm. How rare to encounter a poet you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley, whose writing is proportionately compelling. It's good to be made uncomfortable once in a while.

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