Eleni Sikelianos, Author . Green Integer $10.95 (129p) ISBN 978-1-931243-67-4

The effervescent Sikelianos follows up her much-remarked Earliest Worlds with a book whose three sequences showcase her inclusive energies. Sikelianos writes fast-paced but long (even rambling) poems of fractured lines and free associations, inviting her readers on whirlwind tours of cityscapes, of rural retreats, and of her inner life, whether in romance or mourning. Her jump cuts link her to other neo-Surrealists, while her freewheeling intimacies link her instead to Bernadette Mayer, or to the most talented Beats: "my love/ I came here to kick your ass/ but did I I believe I did kiss it instead." Sikelianos can range from the whimsical to the funereal in the space of a few lines, from "the talkies of Kevin Costner" to "nothing prepares us for death." Sikelianos's grandfather Angelos is considered a major modern poet in Greece, and her poems take in decidedly present-day European vistas: "my first trip to Brittany" animates one excited pastoral passage, while another asks us to "take it// with a grain of strange/ Eurosugar." If the first sequence ("Captions for My Instruction Booklet on Naturally Historical Things") can suffer from excess whimsy, the second and third grow more personal, and more profound, with emotions "bright & tender like fishhooks"; the last and strongest pages prove the poet's declaration: "Now I am this living instrument// of a heart, two hands, etc. given loose to animal/ luminosity & fabulous humors." (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/27/2003
Release date: 01/01/2003
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