cover image The Galaxy Is a Dance Floor

The Galaxy Is a Dance Floor

Bianca Lynne Spriggs. Argos (SPD, dist.), $16 trade paper (100p) ISBN 978-1-938247-26-2

Affrilachian poet and multidisciplinary artist Spriggs (Call Her by Her Name) takes cues from the cosmos as she couples meticulously composed ruminations on the nature of the universe with dreamlike reveries and quirky cartoons. Spriggs transforms the material into the emotional, imagining the flirtations of stars (“As gravity continues to cinch/ its leash between them,/ they carry on about the small things,/ the minutia of asteroid belts/ and passing bolides”) and the sensual schemes of fungi (“I will lure you down from the canopy with a scent only you can hear./ I’ll get inside your head./ Get inside your limbs./ Make your body my marionette”). In her most spellbinding poems, she blends memories, allegories, and streams of consciousness into delightfully enigmatic, yet symbolic, narratives: “You fashion a paddle out of a magazine, two pendant necklaces, and a toothbrush and try to keep up with the captain, who’s shoved off too.” The cartoons may be an unwelcome intrusion for some readers, but they reveal Spriggs’s visual talents and the ones that work best sharply skewer social mores or offer profound insights on human behavior. Spriggs combines a ravenous analytical hunger and taste for transcendentalism into “a kaleidoscope of stardust, coils of oxygen and carbon// and hydrogen compressed/ by time, the anchor of all things.” (Nov.)