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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

“In an exposed position with little chance/ of retreat, the ponies’ best defense is nakedness and lightsome lyric,” writes Gordon in “Paeonies,” a spirited, strident paean to being spirited and strident. With her “balladry/ for the stubbornly liminal” and goof-grinned reaching for high-sounding diction, Gordon’s vatic speaker can take in parables (the foreword is titled “The End of Greed, Imperialism, Opportunism and Terrorism”), language salads that urge readers to “rise up and abandon the spurious contrivance,” and satirically theorized self-deprecatory incantations: “come here, i want// to alienate you. dyssemia / the volatile prosody i auto-eroticize…” If the existential reductio-ad-absurdum can grate, the sincerity of Gordon’s never-quite-named frustrations comes through in her cries of a bodily, even orgiastic, poetry, reading at times like the Beckett of “Whoroscope” on a day trip to the Haight-Ashbury of yore: “Sure, all’s dire, / but look! What comes out! Dark as grapes / but sounding, hot-hot-persisting in wanting / to be wanted. Then I get so enlarged-/ with the writing: it is wrong. So but anyway/ the moment is red duress in bad fire.” The result is outrageously ludic, like Elizabeth Taylor lurching through a Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf monologue loaded with sheer energy and disappointment. When she’s on, this punk priestess travels through a gaudy, impish, vampy, very important hyperreality.

Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

O man behind the curtain (you know who you are), thank you for this.


Nota bene: an emotional formalism. A poem may be a body but it is also a machine made of tropes and codes and connotations. As a human body(psyche) is a machine made of tropes and codes and connotations.

A journal of emotional sensation is usually too discursive or denotative to be interesting as a poem, whatever other uses it might serve.

Why all the Victorian phrasings, relative clauses and wordiness, in my long post of today?

I have trouble with prose, or at any rate with my prose-persona, sometimes.

Also realized that I perceive women with very large heavy hanging breasts to be less naked (I mean, dressed-naked) than women with smaller breasts. It is as if they are clothed by their flesh.

Someone (another blogger, but I won’t say who) mentioned to me at a party the other night that he prefers women’s bodies to have “content” — i.e. to be somewhat voluptuous.

I realized that I don’t think of fat or curves or shape in terms of content but as form.

Of course, we are both wrong:

and if I am loved

as if with a toothy mace

then let it be as thinking form

think of content as material —

IN a glass not air or water

but glass itself, and my white thighs

smoother pastures of resentment

“Yang and Yin”, Foriegnn Bodie