In an Invisible Glass Case Which Is Also a Frame

Julia Guez. Four Way, $15.95 (84p) ISBN 978-1-9455-8837-2
In this direct and imaginative debut, Guez weaves disparate images to grapple with the stages of modern life. From the eight-page poem “Katabasis,” a hallucinogenic visit to the Underworld during childbirth, to the final poem, “Concerning This New Fear Something Will Befall You—Which, Of Course, It Will—And What Then,” Guez references building a family (“The wifely chamomile and Klonopin/ no help, have a saltine”) and pairs the canonical with the contemporary (“Still Life with Vicodin” and “Still Life with Worsening Income Inequality”). In “The New Cartography,” the speaker is “rereading the Odyssey alongside/ What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” even as the poems question the need and ability of “trying to order all of this in language...// (as if nothing exists outside of what we name...)” Guez’s influences range from Anne Carson to Wallace Stevens to Emily Dickinson, but her imagery of “leafless ampersands” and juxtapositions, “the Klieg lights, a bandoneon, the terrible swing of a censer,” are all her own. This expansive debut helps readers to see the world and the stages of life afresh. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 08/14/2019
Release date: 09/01/2019
Genre: Poetry
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