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Failure Lyric by Kristina Marie Darling reviewed at Sundress Publications

  Donna Vorreyer


Review of Failure Lyric by Kristina Marie Darling
Buffalo: Blazevox Books, 2015. 54 pp. $12, paper.


Failure is a perception that is essentially personal. One person's failure can be another's achievement, and failure implies blame, that there is something or someone faulty that did not result in a desired outcome. Lyric is a word that implies emotionally-charged language. Put the two together, and Failure Lyric is the result, a fractured and blistering portrayal of a broken relationship. 

The book tells the non-linear "story" of a failed relationship, one that seems doomed and distant from its inception. The speaker is never at ease, even at the very beginning. In the poem [First Failures], the speaker relates this story: 

"When we met, by a silver lake at the end of summer, I knew you were looking over my
shoulder, trying to find the woman who would fall in love with you."
[...]
"You waited and waited, but the woman never arrived. I just sat there next to the
refreshments, my best dress already out of fashion."

All the poem titles in the book are bracketed, which fittingly mimics the presentation of the speaker as an observer in this narrative, an afterthought to the siginificant other more than a presence. The book opens with an erasure called [Preface], which starts with the line "The story can't begin," telling the reader from the start that this story will not unravel in a way that we expect. 






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