Thursday 5 August 2010

Lee Ann Brown's Polyverse (Sun and Moon, 1999), first selection

I'm loving rereading this book--the range of invention delights. This does make it more difficult to excerpt, however. I'd like to copy loads of poems, including, in the first 108 pages, "Tender skin under the edge of your shirt," "Oshinko," "The Day the War Started," "Dreams Listing," "Thang" (now there's a sex poem!), "My Evans," and "Thought" (written with Bernadette Mayer), among others.

Home is the sweet pill I take every night
My mother turns it slowly over in her once soapy palm
Like a hard communion wife

first stanza of "Those with the Pointed Hats Consult
Secretly with my Mother in the Corner"

Even as we speak I might be writing
an acrostic with your name.
What's the use
in cutting up? What about explosives?
I glow among poets.
Dress up for it. Unspeakable.

from "Coffee"

Blue water verses stasis.
The shapeless morning suddenly writes a beautiful hand.

final stanza of "The Thousand-and-One Nights
of the Inside-Out Gown"

What's with these people
boys or girls who tamp down
the lyric impulse, the heart
waiting in line, barefoot &
illegal. Old-fashioned emotion
is relegated to a loud radio
void sometimes, but Frank O'Hara
has faith in you & me even
though or because we're girls.

final of two stanzas of "To Jennifer M."

Transmission loves a vessel or letter,
unseemly, pushed through the slot--so
your poems fetch my pleasure as I
embed your name via a spread room. You
travel such a continental divide.

last lines of "August Valentine"

What's as empty
as the way we begin?

from "Sestina Aylene"
(the lines made me think of Divining for Starters)

Kindness came to sing your thighs

from "Body in Trouble"

Polyverse can be purchased from Advanced Book Exchange (US) (UK).

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