They and We Will Get into Trouble for This

Anna Moschovakis. Coffee House (Consortium, dist.), $16.95 trade paper (100p) ISBN 978-1-56689-420-3
Poet, editor, and translator Moschovakis (You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake) maps the circuitous and circumstantial nature of connections between people and ideas, in her deeply engaging third collection. The book is arranged in three sections that appear to be autonomous, but are subtly threaded together. “Paradise (Film Two)” is a poetic record of the rhizome-like thought trails that link Moschovakis’s experiences with Kierkegaard, Aristophanes, sacrifice, and the 1978 BBC television series Connections, among other things. Next, in “What It Means to Be Avant-Garde,” she repurposes online self-inventory checklists into a poetic sequence that alternates with a memoiristic exploration of an “unexplained condition,” the latter of which draws from such writers and artists as David Antin, Lucy Lippard, and Jan Yoors. The closing piece, “Flat White (20/20),” is a series of translations of and responses to poems by Algerian writer Samira Negrouche, through which Moschovakis interrogates the process of translation and reveals language’s dissociative and associative qualities. Throughout, Moschovakis largely eschews punctuation in favor of symbols (||, –––, /\, \/\, etc.) that offer new means of linkage, and a chyron-like text of bracketed sequences runs the length of the book. Moschovakis sets philosophy, etymology, and memory in motion to show that “There are many ways to follow a thought.” (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/15/2016
Release date: 03/01/2016
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