Kristina Marie Darling’s latest collection of writing —her tenth!—takes as its premise the notion that every love story is, to quote David Foster Wallace, a ghost story; what we know and understand about our lovers is inevitably comprised of wispy half-truths and sensations, ones not so much acknowledged as intuited, felt.
At its core Brushes With depicts a romantic unraveling; “Cartography,” the first poem in the collection, begins, “We were no longer in love. The sky, too, was beginning to show its wear. A silk lining could be seen through every slit in the dark green fabric ” (13). From that opening, then, the details and figurations of the speaker’s relationship with her former paramour slowly shape into focus, maneuver into place. What was once idyllic and ideal is now tarnished beyond repair; all that is left of the speaker’s relationship with her lover is a perplexing sense of foreboding. In the poem “Feminism” Darling asks, “What is love but a parade of memorable objects, a row of dead butterflies pinned under glass?” (20). Elsewhere, in “Martyrdom,” she writes, “I never imagined love as a cause for suicide. But there we were, surrounded by all of the tell-tale signs: a breadknife, a withered corsage, a white dress with some ruffles along the bottom (30). Simultaneously sorrowful and beatific, ponderings of the aforementioned nature pervade throughout the entire collection.
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The new issue of Oyster Boy Review is full of stuff--and therein is a glowing review of Richard Owens's Delaware Memoranda (BlazeVOX, 2008), still making itself new after five years:
In, on, and about the River
Delaware Memoranda by Richard Owens
BlazeVOX Books, 2008.
93 pages, $16 (paperback).
ISBN: 1934289760 (Library of Congress).
Buy at Amazon.
Memorandum—"a note of things to be remembered"—combines memory and writing, two of the territories Richard Owens delves into in this remarkable book. On one level,Delaware Memoranda provides images from the history of the Delaware River that illumine its significance—create, in Owens' hands, its mythos:
There are rivers
we live along
to see them is
to see ourselves
to see them as (11)
and on another it recognizes the fathers of Owens' person and of his imagination—both his actual father (part VI quotes from his letters)—and the poet-fathers named or quoted in this rich text, some of whom, like Pound, are also implicated in the river's story.
Read the whole review here
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Bookslut: THE READER AS COLLABORATOR: A CONVERSATION BETWEEN JARED SCHICKLING AND KRISTINA MARIE DARLING
THE READER AS COLLABORATOR: A CONVERSATION BETWEEN JARED SCHICKLING AND KRISTINA MARIE DARLING
Kristina Marie Darling is the author of sixteen books, which include Melancholia (An Essay), Petrarchan, and a forthcoming hybrid genre collection calledFortress. Her awards include fellowships from Yaddo, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation. She is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Poetics at S.U.N.Y.-Buffalo.
Jared Schickling is the author of several books, includingATBOALGFPOPASASBIFL: Irritations, Excrement & Wipes and The Pink, and the chapbook Prospectus for a Stage. A critical work, The Paranoid Reader: 2006-2012, is forthcoming. He is an editor at Delete Press, eccolinguistics, andReconfigurations: A Journal for Poetics and Poetry / Literature and Culture. He lives in Lockport, New York.
Darling: All too often, the reader comes to a poem and finds that all the work has been done for them. A linear narrative, clearly defined terms, and a lucid explanation of what things "mean" are already there on the page. What I enjoyed most about your new collection -- which consists of hybrid genre prose, footnotes, found text, and struck-through lines of verse -- is that the book's collage-like quality demands a more active role on the part of the reader. Rather than presenting the reader with a clear-cut explanation of things, you invite them to participate actively in the process of creating meaning from the text. In many ways, it is the reader who actualizes your poems. Do you envision your work as collaborative in nature? Does the collaborative element in your work extend beyond the reader, encompassing other literary and cultural texts as well?
Schickling: To start with, I should say how glad I am to be talking with you about your work. This is a very exacting question, and I promise to try and keep up...
Lately I have been thinking about "quantum entanglement." Basically (ha!), when the quantum elements of two subatomic particles, such as electrons, and it has also been observed in diamonds, become "entangled," then what you do to and observe in the one will absolutely predict what its entangled partner will subsequently exhibit: the inverse of that observation. This despite the unique existence each entangled particle may experience, and it can occur instantaneously -- faster than the speed of light, the Constant, which is a physical "impossibility" -- whereby observers conclude that quantum entanglement is not merely about some message being sent from one place to another. Instead, one can create or teleport the state of matter to elsewhere by purposefully manipulating the entangled counterpart here. Physicists speak of this as mere information transfer, feeding the dream of quantum computing, to bypass satellites. The phenomenon, though it sounds far out, was discovered by Einstein a century ago, who didn't like it and disbelieved his findings, calling it "spooky action at a distance" (ironically, the concept was the same desperate speculation Newton had given for gravity, what he couldn't explain, and which Einstein sought to debunk in his General Theory of Relativity). Edwin Schrödinger, who argued this aspect of quantum mechanics with Einstein in letters, wrote in an article: "I would not call it one but rather the characteristic trait of quantum mechanics, the one that enforces its entire departure from classical lines of thought." Quantum entanglement has been "easily" produced in laboratory and accidentally "harnessed" in manufacture for some time, while the instruments of entanglement in particles are photons -- light, essentially. The phenomenon was essential in the functioning of the first transistor-based computers and the creation of lasers.
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Hurray, the new issue of GRL is out and there are two fine reviews of BlazeVOX books in the current issue of Gently Read Literature, Reviews of Contemporary Poetry & Literary Fiction, Winter 2014. Hurray!
David Appelbaum on Bill Yarrow’s Pointed Sentences
Sally Deskins on Kristina Marie Darling’s VOW
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