5.16.2003

Nada Gordon, V. Imp., Faux Press

V. Imp is a rich, prickly harmonic interlacing of thought, perception, nonsense and proposition.

The book begins with a post-9/11 absurdist fantasy / allegory.

A lot of refreshing reversals and Mad Lib-esque rewrites.

“truth is hideous, beauty a lie”

Established art wisdom meets up with punk response.

Torqued cries of anger but also for love and help. Like -- check out my fantasy world… fuck you… I’ll do whatever the fuck I want here … I need you!

As though the poetry addresses what to do creatively with the excess negative energy life generates. The things pressing on us and from us that are not given a dimension to exist. Thwarted things. The poems deal with these head-on. They are used as energies and as raw material.

Fearlessly hilarious.

A kind of multilayered craft posing as sloppy or spilling over? Actually not at all sloppy, though the associative powers and indirect provocation of this work are loose, i.e. open.

“rise up and abandon the spurious contrivance”

Humor going to the mat with cognitions and speculations.

A lyric quality not moving away from personality or towards it in a culturally verified modality, but IN REVERSE.

Seamless globs of different poetic histories operating together.

Slabs of lysergic showtune gone lit-crit.

Personal experience through 12 Photoshop filters and layers.

Intimate domestic space.

"could you zip me up?"

The sincerity in the humor, twistedness and closeness. Also in the confrontation?

A dozen different kinds of poetry, not unified, but hybridized into a poetic gelatin.

Always near an agitated reaction to some expectation of being delimitated from an outside authority / power.

“Mouth Noises” This poem generates an autobiographical speculative paratactic riff sequence and then lets it go with a pie in the face, the humor like an aggressive invitation.

The work directly and unblinkingly incorporates direct statement, autobiography, myriad assertion with vocab replacement processes and tweaks that are surprising and hilarious.

A fusion of frustrated and zany energies which operate as a kind of virtual liberation of same.

Processing the conflicts of psychological energy that have their root in social conflicts. Like Kathy Acker or William Burroughs. Messed up fantasy / conflict as social critique/ autobiography -- also exhibitionism? The poem is sometimes positioned as a fantasy that is meant to be the object of the reader's voyeurism?

Red-lined or tweaked figures of speech: “The mind is Asian.”

Unabashedly confusion-embracing.

Energy-releasing levity embracing the theatrical gesture.

Recurring grammatical structure-riffs: Why is the ___ so ___. The ___ are ___. They ___ into our ___.

Funny and startling combinations in the spirit of Kenward Elmslie or Monty Python working with Cher.

“I will see it” “a rabbit leaking sound”

She rhymes “my office technology” with “my petite bourgeois ideology.”

Never far from its sources in the energies, dynamics and contradictions of personality, and yet it doesn’t fall into the immobilizing gesture of only attempting to present a persona in a certain light.

Avant-garde with strong stylist tendencies, though not at all avant-garde formalist -- which is traditional, or avant-garde mannerist, which is conventional.

One can sometimes take this work to be saying: “Fuck you for trying to delimit me with your self-serving categories.” A worthy punk sentiment which she opens and spirals out from within deepening connotations and assertions.

Using satirical functions while keeping itself from being subject to the satirized material. Other goals besides satire are always operative.

Indistinguishable from flarf except that flarf is more likely to be totally at the service of humor, whereas humor here is one of several simultaneous layers of poetic functioning.

She activates negative social psychological energies that convention represses and uses the resulting gear as a tunneling machine.

In “Gorgeous” concision is used with evocative results. It’s like she’s playing pick up sticks with razor sharp slivers of language.

“would buck the system by increments of craving”

“love’s ripe with happenstance”

She address her own location (Brooklyn / NYC setting -- subway / common space, inescapable mental tropisms etc.) without attempting to sweet talk the reader into being pleased with it.

Very important sonnets -- funny, sing songy, relaxed. Pinned to the zany side of the needle.

“a shark wrapped in lace”

the sonnets are welcoming, but no less complex in their orientation. They allow in clich├ęs, lyrics, lists, a continuous string of defiant, alert, propositional hunks of language.

Comical hallucinations.

Sensation as idea.

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