The Last 4 Things

Kate Greenstreet, Author . Ahsahta $17.50 (104p) ISBN 978-1-934103-09-8

The austere second volume from Greenstreet (case sensitive ) picks up on her other career as a photographer. Brief prose poems, spare stanzas and suggestive sequences return to such notions as frame, tint, profile and point of view: “We don't know what it means but we do know that the person disappears.// The bridge/ attracts us with its brightness.” One page can present Greenstreet as a war photographer, getting horror on film; the next can make her a victim, a dreamer, a wanderer, an examiner of linguistic particles at a very far remove. Abstractions and almost mystical hints imply lessons from Michael Palmer (“Dear When-you-stop-you-will-feel,/ Black, the color of space, mourning/ is green for rain”) or from Elizabeth Robinson. Greenstreet is nothing if not challenging, electric and crisp. Readers who find the verse and the situations in the fragment-packed first half of the volume fascinating yet hard to assemble may turn to the concluding set of prose poems, each given a date like a diary (“6 January”): here events and plots mix and dissolve (civil war, childbirth, hiking), but the hurt tone and the laconic technique make them cohere. The book includes a DVD (not seen by PW ) with video art by Greenstreet. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/20/2009
Release date: 09/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
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