Emmalea Russo. Futurepoem, $18 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-0-9960025-8-5
In a debut of prose poems that approach language by turns as abstract or as deeply representational, interdisciplinary artist and writer Russo chronicles a desire for calm and unattachment in the face of the details of a life—a volatile relationship, the labor of gardening, a “Nervous disorder.” Russo writes, “G is not for or against me,” where G is a composite representing a former lover and a garden the speaker tended with him. Other letters are similarly unmoored and remade in a tone somewhere between wishful, indifferent, and resigned: H is a gate, I is the number 1 and the estranged self, X is the mathematical unknown. While many narrative details are withheld until the book’s second section, a paratactic essay-cum-afterward, the interlocking prose forms of the first section propel themselves forward with association, repetition, and collage. The poems on the right-facing pages feel as if they have fallen from the spaces in the more fragmented poems of the left. As Russo writes, “Some things drop down into what space is cleared for,” before revising this sentiment when she writes later, “What we continue to clear is G.” Readers will likely find the primary pleasures of this book in this tension, as philosophy emerges from fracture and the poems gesture toward but never perform wholeness. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/05/2018
Genre: Fiction
Discover what to read next