100 Notes on Violence

Julie Carr, Author . Ahsahta $19 (120p) ISBN 978-1-934103-11-1

A sprawling experimental poem in 100 parts, Carr's third collection variously examines the ways violence permeates our daily lives. Part personal reflection, part research project, Carr (Equivocal ) echoes writers and thinkers from Dickinson and Whitman to Bataille and Sontag. Disturbing subjects such as child abuse, bomb-making, and the horrors of the Internet (“I cannot write the words 'school shootings' in to the little search box./ Later I hear that whatever you write…will somewhere/ be recorded...in order to better sell you./ what does a person searching school shootings want to buy?”) are interspersed with short, simple lullabies—“never been to Texas, never been to Spain, never been to/ Holland, never been to Maine”—as if Carr is simultaneously reassuring the reader and heightening the sense of danger. Despite these moments of calm, though, Carr (who is an editor of Counterpath Press) is clearly uninterested in comforting collective anxieties. Instead, she confronts them: “Dear opposition, dear trashed strollers, dear/torn to pieces: Wasn't, won't be, isn't me.” She also calls out our communal culpability—“everyone's life is riddled”—from which she doesn't exclude herself: “my mother kicked my shin and I kicked her back. Why did I so enjoy this?” (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 12/21/2009
Release date: 01/01/2010
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