Sunday 6 June 2010

Jennifer Moxley's The Line (Post-Apollo Press, 2007), first selection

Jennifer Moxley's outstanding book, The Line, is one of the best books of prose poems I've ever read. I'd like to copy here the following poems in their entirety: "The State," "The Endless Conscription," "The Pitiful Ego," "The Interruption," "The Clock" and "The Railing." You'll just have to read those for yourself, as I don't want to infringe on copyright. Here is a first set of selected passages. This sentence from Alice Notley's blurb gives some useful context: "These prose poems tell the story of sleeping and waking, of this very bout of writing, of the search for the line of time and the poet's immortality."

"Newborn, palpable loneliness shakes you from even the deepest sleep. Against the cold air and shadowed darkness flooded with sudden consciousness the vulnerable flesh recoils. In the liminal all times converge. Severed memories long for the text, the comfort of dialectic."

first half of "The Promise"

"The heartbreak of time is not that it passes but rather the language yoke. By grace of grammar alone the moment's fleeting existence."

from "In One Body and One Soul"

"How many more days will you awaken? The flesh envies the word's longevity but not its delayed effects."

* * *

"You are asleep before belief, held captive mid-metamorphosis."

from "Awake"

"Yesterday was exhausting, yet there is no meaningful reason to think you are lost for good. Though sometimes you do."

from "Address"

"You have accepted that this repetition will kill you, though it remains your only hope."

* * *

"With no new experience to feed it your amulet mind seeks asylum in imaginary visions of a falsified past."

from "Experience"

"True faith does not need the state to enforce it. It makes neither hope, nor a shroud."

"You will walk out of the visible and learn to accept the darkness. You will find the line. It extends backward eternally into the past and forward into the future. The utterance cup, the gentle metric, old words new mind lost time and loves."

* * *

"In other words, write. Find time in words. Replace yourself cell by letter, let being be the alphabetic equation, immortality stay the name."

from "The Line"

"You step off the curb into nothingness where the line offers itself to your hands. Grab hold or fall. Happy in the thought you might never recover you consign your trust to this flimsy thread that nobody else can see."

end of "Mystical Union"

In the UK, Jennifer Moxley's The Line is prohibitively expensive. In the US, you can obtain it from Small Press Distribution, but its UK shipping charges are high because they use FedEx, so I have to recommend, which will charge $15 for the book and $3.99 for international shipping. So, who wants to borrow my copy first?


  1. Linda Black6:57 pm

    Thanks for this Carrie - would love to borrow your copy!

  2. Anonymous12:52 pm

    I'm after Linda!