Vanessa Roveto. Univ. of Iowa, $19.95 trade paper (72p) ISBN 978-1-60938-455-5
In this inventive and arrestingly funny debut, Roveto unequivocally makes the familiar strange as she places human bodies in a seemingly endless array of contexts to produce striking and even disturbing juxtapositions. She proves to be a master of the overlay. In these untitled prose poems, Roveto presents familiar settings or propositions—such as going on a date, using a computer, or lying on a hospital bed—that she then double exposes in the manner of a photograph: “It began as they moved into the ward, moved out of the would. He made a sound with her, balling up a cheese, putting their bodies into an incredible organization of one lump.” Roveto takes a democratic stance on which body parts and images deserve attention, and unexpected intrusions of the bizarre help shape a surreal and emotionally charged space where eating, sex, and even surgical dissection can overlap. “I wear my buckle to the side so that no one looks at my crotch, she chained to me. I looked at her crotch,” Roveto writes. She delivers jolts of sexually electric language and apt critiques of social media: “Connection had grown into a dumb incest television.” Through imaginative poems linked by voice and theme, Roveto takes the spectacle of modern consumption and flips it all upside-down. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/17/2016
Release date: 11/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
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