Cultivating Excess

Lori Anderson, Author Eighth Mountain Press $18.95 (128p) ISBN 978-0-933377-18-9
In this debut, Anderson's poems bristle with guttural words that come as much from the mouth as from the head--hers is an aural poetry since it's not really spoken--it is a book whose effect lies less in its content than in the juxtaposition of words and sounds. Looking for a scrapenot sure I get this in context of poetry/stet/pk , Anderson often takes up challenges with ideas or thoughts she has come across. In ``Dead-I,'' quoting Simone Weil's comment that her disappearance would bring harmony to the world, Anderson defiantly asserts her own existence: ``Weil, I will not be saxoned into scalding my feet or forgetting to eat.'' Her tone is sure, and she rarely hesitates as she brings the poems to their conclusions. But some of the poems are throwaways; lacking poetic resonance, they seem to be included for their blatant shock value, as in ``Eating Soup by the TV Everyone Was Saying I Was Caroline,'' which begins: ``Living in a de-moc-ra-cy / we took turns / a-s-s-a-s-s-i-n-a-t-i-n-g /John F. Ken-ne-dy. / We prac-ticed his dy-ing / on the side board / of my 2nd uncle's / old Model T.'' In other places, the words are clumsily chosen: ``Because this is not bronze, / not a cast assembled for hegemony.'' (May)
Reviewed on: 01/04/1993
Release date: 01/01/1993
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