"We cannot help ourselves/ but believe. Look what people do./ We cannot help ourselves to/ believe. Look what people do/ and believe. I can't believe it," begins Hartigan (One Sun Storm) in an incantation that ushers readers into a powerful second collection. Divided into five choruses, the work is troubled by and troubles the notion of a chorus as the many and the one, a laboratory in which individual identity is obliterated and redefined. As Hartigan's muscular poems wrestle with interchangeability, so too do their innovative structures challenge its boundaries. Acrobatic and playful, the poems turn back and reflect on themselves, daring readers to consider intention and arbitrariness at once. And yet, the book is wary of the total annihilation of individual meaning: "The slippage that we must avoid is a certain blanketing in which/ the delicacy of perception is lost." Hartigan's poems take simultaneity and expose it: "The news is on, the news is on at the same time as the game, sorry, it's on at the same time, I'm sorry." Individual moments are individual for having been chosen—lifted out of the noise—and Hartigan's poems make the claim that the act of choosing, no matter how choral the result, is of the greatest importance. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/19/2014 Release date: 04/01/2014 Genre: Fiction
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