Heather Christle. Wesleyan Univ, $24.95 (110p) ISBN 978-0-8195-7529-6
Christle (What Is Amazing) reveals further maturation in this, her fourth collection, as she breaks down the belief that to separate oneself from the world is to be safe from it. The book is named for the theoretical boundary between our solar system and the interstellar medium, and Christle transports readers—as if they were human Voyager spacecraft—into just such a liminal zone. Overwhelmed by stimuli yet present in a flux of knowing/not knowing, the poet pushes to the point where language fails, recognizing “the general uselessness/ of looking to words for answers.” Christle relates how “For a long time they did not know/ if Voyager had crossed the heliopause/ and we lived/ in the strange interim/ of an event perhaps having occurred/ ... without knowing what.” A long poem inspired by composer William Basinski’s The Disintegration Loops incorporates lines from friends and artists, in a form that takes cues from the musical composition. The presence of others, even in text, provides solace: “You will forgive me won’t you/ for the lines/ I’m copying in/ I do not want to be alone here.” It’s a generous and warm collection, and Christle reminds us that to be alive is not to be safe from trauma, but to be aware of how intact one can remain in spite of pain and furious joy. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/16/2015
Release date: 03/01/2015
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 112 pages - 978-0-8195-7530-2
Paperback - 112 pages - 978-0-8195-7692-7
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