I really love Paisley Rekdal's new book of poems, THE INVENTION OF THE KALEIDESCOPE. Big, fat, confessional reveries--glowing odes to art and broken loves, in their variable forms and subject matter: pornography, family, self and fruit. Her lyrics sting, sing, singe the edges until the spirit feels--"deliciously, yet delicately, fired." I'm finding it difficult to write about, because the poems are layered and dramatically centered. Each poem is a "clear song
of the dreamer's reverie--this one note--broken
or turned sweetly inward, romance of self
with self, awareness stirred
. . . . .
This week I'm married to Bjork and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. All horn and sail. California, fog or high knifing green. It's the end of the semester (FINALLY) so I'm split between grading term papers and final exams and dreaming about my re-print which is due out later this month.. . Summer school starts right away, but it's such a relief to feel myself at the end. These semesters feel like they go on forever. My secret May is filled with white turned inside-out, my beautiful hanging entrails, like Hawkinson's song at the Ghetty, UBERORGAN.. .
. . . . .
Here are a few more bits of her gold:
"One day, you'll be half asleep in the dark, listening to a radio
play in another room, and feel yourself
suddenly filling like a jug with the cold
awareness nothing more will ever happen, the disaster
of your old ambivalence, the familiarity
of desire's wolfish teeth sinking into the body.
The body, as if it didn't belong to you anymore."
This is a an imaginary diary of facts, confessions, or messages. This is a notebook of working but broken ideas, lines, images, notes on books I'm reading, writers I admire, and brief fantasies of language. Here unfiltered all mannerings pseudo-private, publicized, ur-. Here I am art and unrevealed: poetic, political and pop. These are my moonlit rough beginnings and should not be taken literally, directly, truthfully, reliably, and none of it is legally binding. These lies are all choreographed, but only haphazardly. Beware.
My work has been awarded the Katherine C. Turner Prize from the Academy of American Poets, a Swarthout Award, and has twice been nominated and shortlisted for the Pushcart Prize. My first book, A Book Called Rats, was selected for the Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry (Eastern Washington University Press 2007). I'm curating editor for the online journal of poetry: PISTOLA and my poems and reviews most recently appear in Massachusetts Review, Beloit, Ploughshares and RAIN TAXI. I currently teach writing and literature at Santa Monica College in southern California.
FRIENDS AND STRANGERS
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