Rat-a-tat prosody and scattershot, hallucinatory cultural critique, replete with grotesqueries, spit baroquely from the necropastoral ground of McSweeney's third collection.
Music and drama as weapons of productive destruction. This collection by prize-winning, massively influential literary star Joyelle McSweeney explodes the twinned and dangerous notions that images are pretty, and that they land predictably. Power struggles in all contexts and the driving ever-presence of a lexicon of puissance make this a bracing read, not for the faint of heart or mind.
Just inside the cutters' pavilion
Just at the peak of the oxygen tent
Just on the inner lid of the hairline coma
Just on the inner thighs of the medical canal
Just up under the gesso of lubrication
Just up to the hairline of the hairline crack
Just there where the adolescent girl eyes the camera
Just under the burden of her fishscale hair
Just where one sister shoulders the other
Just why should one sister have to shoulder the other
Just while out of the frame the globe unshouldered rolls around like a boulder in the mouth
Just the whole world like a wadded-up burden in the mouth
Joyelle McSweeney is the author of five books, including The Red Bird, chosen by Allen Grossman to inaugurate the Fence Modern Poets Series in 2001. McSweeney is a co-founder of Action Books and Action, Yes, a press and web-quarterly for international writing and hybrid forms, and a contributing editor of the culture blog montevidayo.com. She holds degrees from Harvard, Oxford, and the Iowa Writers Workshop, and is an associate professor in the creative writing program at the University of Notre Dame.