Or Replica

Paige Taggart. Brooklyn Arts (SPD, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (122p) ISBN 978-1-936767-35-9
Taggart (Want for Lion) leads a journey through the topography of language, with memory and an abstracted sense of solitude providing the setting: “I wanted to write a book/ to map it all out/ to know better/ to know more than has been known.” Broken into four parts, the book alternates between prose poems and sections of short, fleeting pieces which often splinter or interrupt themselves. “It is easy/ to become convinced/ that action makes meaning,” she writes, urging the reader to take heed. But for Taggart, it’s not action but the moments of hesitation, of witty vulnerability that make the collection meaningful: “I notice myself being myself—sort of messy. I exposed my thudding hearts.” She ominously prophesies that “the things we leave alone/ will grow full of purpose,” yet Taggart doesn’t exactly leave things alone. She worries over certain words or phrases, attempting to clear a path through the complexity of language: “You reach for/ for across the dark you/ reach/ you reach for/ for into the landscape/ you come/ gagged and knowing.” Language becomes that stuttering thing, ever inaccurate but always reached for. Taggart successfully reveals that her “imagination is a hinge/ endless swinging door,” where the frame is “the only obstruction.” (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/17/2014
Genre: Fiction
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