cover image Click and Clone

Click and Clone

Elaine Equi. Coffee House (Consortium, dist.), $16 trade paper (136p) ISBN 978-1-56689-257-5

Equi's newest collection is punchy and fast paced; saturated with an urban tang ("You Know the Type// A NY guy/ in an NY hat/ walking an NY dog"). Modern yet staunchly accessible in their quirkiness, her poems feel alive. "Nowhere is there a poet/ who sings the sanitized decadence of our times," Equi writes, though one could argue that her collection comes as close as possible. Equi's pieces are kaleidoscopic patchworks of trivia, pop culture, subway spying and other miscellany. "After years and years, it's finally dawned on us./ Art is not an object, but a way of looking at an object." Clone-themed poems that explore death pop up throughout the collection: "we may even look back fondly to the time/ when there was only one of everyone. // Not like this trend where people die/ and you start seeing them everywhere." The significance of the body is another theme: "now long gone.// Replaced by files, codes,// a social network/ held together with pins." Elsewhere, Equi muses on a future world without birds: "I am trying to draw one from memory," she writes. "It has rosy cheeks,// a galloping heart,// the rest%E2%80%94a vague softness." (Apr.)