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The Landfill Dancers by Mary Kasimor reviewed on Altered Scale

 

Mary Kasimor's THE LANDFILL DANCERS (BlazeVox)

by Jefferson Hansen


Mary Kasimor’s difficult, but rewarding, poems often create buried narratives, where a story is hinted at but never fully fleshed out. The poems track the perchings and turns of attention on top of these narratives, in forms that emphasize visual process. She uses a variety of poetic techniques—from in-line spacing, to surprising line breaks, to idiosyncratic capitalization—to goad words and phrases into a meaning only poetry could grant them. What’s more, a spirit of experimentalism leaps off the page. Kasimor plays with and in language, moving it into unique and specific witticisms and quiet surprises, all with an eye to visual enactment.
            In the poem “found on page 78” Kasimor explicitly mentions story:
                      found on          page 78
          the story has
                               a toothache when
          they looked           at the corners
          finding bruises
          blue
                        escapes a name          wandering
          skeleton covered           with skin  
The story is “found” on a seemingly random page in a magazine or book, probably in regard to a photograph. This is one of the few places where Kasimor addresses what she’s up to, and even here it is elliptical. For her, stories happen everywhere, are tied together with loose, but exact, strings in the complexity of experience. We don’t know precisely what is going on; bits of insight and guess are as far as we can go. These poems hover in the moments before provisional discernment, before a pattern can be identified or an insight had. They hover in ambiguity, but not ambivalence. They are sure footed, well crafted, even exacting. They have a sheen. So Kasimor writes of the unfinished, the raw, the prior to in, paradoxically, careful and fully formed language.
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The Landfill Dancers by Mary Kasimor Now Available!

 

In The Landfill Dancers, Mary Kasimor feasts and fetes us on precision in freedom and pleasure in disequilibrium via “sounds to dream” and “unspeakable/art that reflect[s] ourselves.” An organic whole of refined beauty and sophistication, these lapidary artifacts of rigorous & disciplined experimentation offer a dazzling array of delicate yet potent expansions of lyric’s intellectual, aesthetic, & emotional potential via a web of variations on Kasimor’s invented forms, crafted and turned to frameworks of implication as sharp and graceful as razor wire lace. Rich with “the sound of broken beauty,” “tight and magnificent” as a futuristic skyline of architectural masterworks, these expectation-defying constructs manage to be both whimsical and sound. Like the gleaming city-scape of an idealized future, The Landfill Dancers is populated by one perfectly executed and imaginatively liberated structure after another, adding up to a remarkable whole that is diverse yet unified, richly textured, and precise – a sharp and soaring verbal landscape to study and admire.

—Susan Lewis, author of How to be Another

Woven, organic typographies, project lullaby hallucinations in the library. Squeeze dioxides of anatomic losses, wounding the quiet blood of the afternoon naps, born of cotton innocence. Survival with no music, a piano plays the brain. Mary Kasimor makes a mannequin smile on a day of daffodils, of many colored techno screams, a young machine running into the forest needing creation, as bone and skin and minutes slip from the shoulder. The Landfill Dancers: I’d copy here all of those lines. This poetry’s the stuff.

—Jared Schickling, author of The Pink

Monks, nuns, crows, saints, mimes, phantom fire-eaters, dogs, and "selves without a string" dance through the surreal pastoral of a postmodern world. Human and other animate bodies eat, scatter, dream, reflect, and sing in a fugue of fragmented voices. In this memorable collection, Mary Kasimor enacts an "image drama" and "performance burlesque" across every poetic line, surprising the reader with a new "species of FORM." Watch your step because The Landfill Dancers will take you where the wild is always open.

—Craig Santos Perez, author of from unincorporated territory


Mary Kasimor has been most recently published in Yew Journal, Big Bridge, Certain Circuits, MadHat, The Bakery, Altered Scale, Horse Less Review, Word For/Word, Posit, and The Missing Slate. She received a Fellowship from US Poets in Mexico for the 2011 Conference. She has had several books of poetry published including Silk String Arias (BlazeVOX Books), & Cruel Red (Otoliths Books) and The Windows Hallucinate (LRL Textile Series).


Book Information:

· Paperback: 72 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-173-3

$16

 
 
 

The Landfill Dancers by Mary Kasimor Book Preview

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Photos on flickr