18 - I'm the Man Who Loves You by Amy King Oct 28, 2008 18:52:25 GMT 2
Post by shayepoet on Oct 28, 2008 18:52:25 GMT 2
I'm the Man Who Loves You
Amy King's mercurial poems capture the instability of cultural,
sexual, and poetic identity. In the circuitry of her illuminated,
incongruous, but somehow perfectly apt details, "the alien befits us."
With a nod to Gertrude Stein and Fernando Pessoa, as well as cameos by
Frida Kahlo, Maya Deren, and Claude Cahun, Amy celebrates "the roles"
of women even as she redefines them, telling us: "I put on my long
black dream/to live among my female brothers." Playful, provocative,
and frenetically lyrical, this is metamorphic poetry for our times.
I'm the Man Who Loves You
The history of the scarf is in knots and I don’t know
if that’s a compliment or a fact-finding gesture,
which is often mistaken for the moist point where
things turn damp and snowy and we get worked up over tiny
cold mishaps such as who jumped in front of our toy cars
racing through puddles or why
has the muffin meant for breakfast grown from stale into hard—
I originally meant to throw that sentence away
before retreating to my Guggenheim grotto on the planet, Manhattan ,
but over the connection of orphans,
my birthday hesitates—some stars are just too large
to orbit and prohibit from the subways of free speech just
as it turns out, we inhabit an invalid country, one that once
belonged to another people who never claimed to own it
anyway, I named my dog for the future except
I couldn’t remember what we’d all been calling her by then,
and as such, the bias of time takes over our mental conditions:
I began this day by celebrating the hour of my conception
and a simultaneous abandonment of complete non-existence;
I put on my long black dream and stepped into the world of women
to live among my female brothers who know how to grow
up on ink that occasionally vanishes & candles that eat at the wick;
I understood then not to let the germs that occupy my body
infiltrate my mind because they are programmed to dislodge
the thoughts that set me apart as a matter of defining my essence,
that aspect of personhood that surpasses stuffing wads
of cash into every pocket while pretending nothing’s wrong here;
I put myself into this box of unerased sentences,
I live in a box that lives in a drawer with arrows pointing
out the professor then female then southern parts of me
on initial examination of a body and accompanying biography,
a series of transparent confessions turns most of my lovers off,
so does this type of artificial language, though I adhere
in something of a masculine vein that can be coaxed open but
is more often dilated then narrowed into a permanent voice-style
for example, I like tissue, Kleenex, less so bargain paper, even rougher
are the paper towels that attempt the same job exactly,
which varies in thickness and color depending on income and location,
but maybe I should look at something that’s not as much me
as it gropes towards you: your heart’s been wounded before this time,
a vice grip holds it in place and no super-sized machete will
pry it loose to be used as the birdie in badminton on Sir Newton’s
back lawn, across which the Chinese woman collects cans all night,
each night, overnight, in my neighborhood,
I watch her distance from my third floor window
since she’s the closest I’ve ever come to understanding
a human being in the measure of a scarf that shares its warmth
to the degree of tight to loosely tied around her
open neck and also as a mask for her nose against eternal elements.
Raves and reviews for I'm the Man Who Loves You:
"Amy King's poetry is carried by a vital and ineluctable complexity, yoking near-Elizabethan conceit to the roughest necessities with disarming sweetness. John Ashbery and Chidiock Tichborne could not have teamed up to do it better."
—Annie Finch, Calendars
"Amy King’s lexical palette is enormous, but her language remains economical to the extent that it evacuates the flabby redundancies and laziness so common in everyday speech (and in the poets that adopt a related esthetic). King is aware of the artifice at the heart of her poetic idiom, an artifice rare and refreshing in the thoroughly colloquialized landscape of contemporary American poetry."
–Alexander Dickow, Jacket Magazine
"King’s work bodes well for the future of New York poetry, carving out a space discrete from the unending partisan conflicts of her precedents. I’m the Man Who Loves Youdispenses with the petty squabbles of the previous generation and elegantly employs tools from a diverse array of aesthetic models to vaunt a classical cosmopolitan multiplicity that surely brings a smile to the lusty lips of Whitman’s lonely ghost."
—Mark Lamoureux, BOOG City
"It’s brilliant stuff. The book is well-lit, musical, and playful while being simultaneously mind-bending in its acrobatic use of what I might call syntactical, juxtapositional and associative dyslexics (and which a lot of other people have called other things) to delimit meaning and lay bare both its surfaces and depths in a coherent but (nearly always) non-linear fashion."
—Matt Hart, Coldfront Mag
"Even though King does something that there should be more of in contemporary poetry—addresses the sociopolitical aspects of life in the 21st century head on—I’m The Man Who Loves You accomplishes much more. It is disjointed, beautifully grotesque, and unsparing, yet it is ultimately hopeful, kind, and entertaining.
—Brandi Homan, CutBank
About the author:
Amy King is the author of I'm the Man Who Loves You and Antidotes for
an Alibi, both from Blazevox Books, and most recently, Kiss Me With
the Mouth of Your Country (Dusie Press). She edits the Poetics List,
sponsored by The Electronic Poetry Center (SUNY-Buffalo/University of
Pennsylvania), moderates the Women's Poetry Listserv (WOMPO), and
teaches English and Creative Writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.
She also co-curates The Stain of Poetry: A Reading Series. Please
visit her website for more.
ISBN:1-934289-33-7, 87 pages, $14.00
BlazeVOX (February 2007)
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