Just Whistle: A Valentine

C. D. Wright, Author Kelsey Street Press $14 (55p) ISBN 978-0-932716-32-3
With her opening words, Wright ( String Light ) introduces ``the body, alive, not dead but dormant.'' A few lines later, the body is asked to take off its panties. This sensual image of the would-be naked female pervades the volume, as the poet deftly uses repetition and slight variation to keep readers attentive to what might otherwise be a difficult book to follow. The work is predominantly in prose-poem form, and some of the clearest insights into Wright's process are contained within structured line breaks. Thus she looks longingly back at the old days, when bodies were naked, and insists that the same body that had refused to remove its panties ``has the right to remain naked.'' The body becomes pregnant; the moment of giving birth is hauntingly articulated: ``pressure of rock on the chest . . . tremendous fall of rock.'' Later, the nondescript voice says there was ``something about'' a country drive, a gas station, clothes found in weeds--alluding to rape and murder. While the structure of this long cyclical poem demonstrates Wright's affinities with the Language poets, her work might best be understood alongside female performance artists who direct attention to the body. Photos not seen by PW. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/1993
Release date: 01/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
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