cover image Poemland


Chelsey Minnis, . . Wave, $14 (126pp) ISBN 978-1-933517-41-4

“Some people know how to write but they have no/ taste,” Minnis states toward the end of her fourth poetry collection, a book-length sequence tackling the sticky subject of poetry: the act of writing it and the meaning of being a poet. In a flurry of ideas, and with her typically sparse and open-ended lines, Minnis (Bad Bad ) approaches her subject from a dizzying array of angles: ironic, celebratory, mournful, panicked and often funny. “In a poem,” writes Minnis, “You have to make a charitable sentiment... // But I like it without any of that fluff... // I like it to be very obscenely old-fashioned like an old/ fashioned stripper.” Addressing her readers directly, Minnis mixes the postmodern with the nearly archaic: her exclamatory lines contain an almost troubadourlike quality in their exuberance for announcing their thoughts: “I like to live a hard life but I know I shouldn't do it... // I should live an easy life or I am a fool!” Minnis isn't for everyone, likely too edgy for the more traditional reader and too personal for a more progressive crowd. However, most find this a careful and entertaining read that manages to be exhaustive, yet never exhausting. (Apr.)