Monday, November 20, 2006

Angela Carr

Does the line last longer
than the point at which you wanted me?
After a time.
Am I fragile at this point you wanting me?
Am I lasting at this point?
Am I coming at this point and is it lasting?
Am I nettles?
Are you burning in this point?
Am I centered in your beauty and is it cold and are we holding?
from "The Louise Labe Poems" Ropewalk, Angela Carr, Snare Books, 2006.

Enjoying Carr's three part book, staring with "The Louise Labe Poems" , which you can hear her read from courtesy of the Atwater Reading Series in Montreal. These are collaborative poems, generously spaced on the page and engaging, lush silences, leaps, acrostic in the Jackson Mac Low sense of writing through.

"Empty Cups," a series exploring Steinian non-sequiturs:
This spine with bapitzer. A name in abeyance. Atop the slide I open the here.
beautiful, slender poems, very delicate on the page.

The final section is particularly haunting. "Mountance of a Dream is the length of time it takes to travel a dream." This section recalls childhood dreams, the entering into and attempt to exit from, the hangover dream state that often creates a permanent shadow in our adult world, and later the circularity of language and desire, what brings us back to that inner landscape: "My first memory is a set of stairs," "If at the top of the stairs I shed myself effortlessly...."

These poems linger. The mirror stage of a dream, stuck in a stairway, all of these images ring true, and then some:
If the tongue were a leaf I would be silent all winter.

If time was singular and without grief, time was.
This is an impressive first book. Quietly confident, and best of all it has all the earmarks of a long conversation just begun, in no hurry, enjoying the nuances of itself.

This is the third or fourth publication from Jon Paul Fiorentino's upstart Snare Books out of Montreal. The other fall book was Zoe Whittal's The Emily Valentine Poems. If Snare and the other new press, Bookthug, are any indication, the future of publishing poetry in Canada is looking good. Very good.

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