Rag

Julie Carr. Omnidawn (UPNE, dist.), $17.95 trade paper (136) ISBN 978-1-890650-93-3
“In this document of my intentions I will create a puppet for my girl,” states Carr (100 Notes on Violence) in a filmic fifth collection that interrogates modernity, grief, and violence through the recurring motifs and stirring imagery of childhood and urbanity: “The words renew themselves in the night like sleeping children. A city reveals itself never.” Carr’s language is at once immediate and mysterious, “Present tense owns such pure confidence on the porch.” She juxtaposes impressionistic prose passages and sparse single lines, layering and accumulating a catalogue of energies. There is grief and political unrest: “—but is grieving a politics?—// —a civic lyric on the house floor—.” Carr exposes the commercial value of women in stories—girls made to guess gruesome riddles, married off, or delivered as gifts. Her speaker declares that, “‘Like an oxen yoked’ the daughter must please the king, please or be killed,” before going on to say “A woman might be a kind of postproduction medium, or a filter through which the desires in the ground are felt.” Carr memorably and lyrically juxtaposes events, calling attention to deliberately cinematic gestures—“I made a movie about my life. The opening shot a polluted river, the closing shot my daughter’s eye”—to flesh out this beautiful, striking collection. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/28/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
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