The Art of Fiction

Kevin Prufer. Four Way, $16.95 trade paper (92p) ISBN 978-1-945588-72-3
“My politics are rickety,” admits Prufer (How He Loved Them) in a cinematic collection that showcases a flair for blurring the line between fact and fiction—a precarious distinction in poetry. Shame and guilt are at the heart of these poems; Prufer staggers short lines across the page, advancing long intertwined narratives that blend the “real” and the fashioned, such as when a film noir plot is paired with a traumatic experience of death. In between bouts of exterminating invasive hogs with a (perfectly named, factually or not) poison called Hog Kaput, a farmer dines with his wife, who sweet-talks away his guilt. Other poems, such as “Wet Leaves,” dig closer to the root of pain and childhood trauma with a light hand. Here, terror is never far from the edges of consciousness, yet is often allayed as in “Cruelties,” which restores the sense of illusion after a gardener has gassed wasps: “the garden is perfect/ this is a perfect garden.” Prufer’s sensitive, strange, and brilliant poems explore darkness and pain with originality and verve. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 03/04/2021
Release date: 02/01/2021
Genre: Poetry
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