Fat Daisies

Carrie Murphy. Big Lucks (SPD, dist.), $12 trade paper (82p) ISBN 978-1-941985-01-4
Murphy (Pretty Tilt) takes on the heft of contemporary culture, self-construction and self-preservation, and much more in her second collection, an admirable feat of frank examination. Facebook clicks and pop songs flow in tandem with concerns about race and privilege, a fierce feminism, and a complex awareness of the self. Murphy continually scrutinizes the context behind everything she says, and she addresses her deficiencies before her critics can: "But if I call myself out for being mean/ in this poem, that shows/ I'm not actually mean. Right?" The guilt of being white and privileged haunts nearly every poem, tied up with the admission that "it's a white girl's book about being a white girl." Murphy says the book needs "some positive poems about humanity," but immediately confesses she cannot construct such things. Instead: "There is no moral here:/ in our fonty sea of fake sympathy & manufactured outrage,/ so many people trying so hard to be their own goddamn rainbow." Instead of a moral, and somehow coinciding with the belief that "all of us are terrible/ animals," the book offers companionship—in imperfection, in self-obsession, in questioning. Murphy describes humans as "effervescent in [their] constant reimagining," and her collection spreads that effervescence far and wide. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/2016
Release date: 10/01/2015
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