Alan Sondheim

Stacy Doris
Krupskaya, 2000, 137 pp., $9.00

She loves palindromes and terse quick!

This book is full of fun. I like this book. This book has no body, but there are motions and quick movements poking into spaces. I've never read the body in such a bouncy state! It's Latinate as well, without the Laws of Justinian; Catullus comes to mind, something of green and yellow glisten. It's adverbial! It's also arousing; I was on the subway with my partner Azure, getting wet and wet. It's erotic like a bunch of grapes. It's also breaking new ground with that body that's bouncy, not yet there and how's it do that?

By virtue of virtue, of the embodiment of the Latinate, of the swerve. As if the body were virtual, and the writing a performance or dance around it, moving in to licking the flesh, that is to a wavering or moment around the flesh. Age is abandoned; there are boys and girls a-plenty and it's hard to tell the couplings. Everyone is linked, including the sentence reading sometimes shuddering like branches, back and forth, the palindromic of the word, not the letter. Or the palindromic of the book itself.

So I take the book as a body, as a Paramour. It murmurs through the lilt of it, my only problem the "Introduction." What is wrong with the "Introduction"? That the author feels it is needed as a portal at all, that it begins on an odd and awkward note, "This is a very conservative book." The way it isn't isn't the point, isn't isn't; what is is that it is something that should not be conjured by the line. I'd have said nothing, just as saying, "This book has diphtheria" would place the text under the denial of disease, not dis/ease, askew as the book is, the energy of rooting under skirts and shirts and pants, Latinate toga. Which I've never read (of) anything like it and like the best work, I don't think "poetry" or "text" or "writing" but an unfolding of a body dreaming and convulsing in sprung delight.

This book is full of pain; I like it. It has the worst pun in the world, the author of a Chinese book, Kud Tzu, not the Sun nor the Father (who appears elsewhere). "This" and "Thus" play rolls, I think of thIs as masculine, thUs as feminine, but doubles mirror doubles all through; there are doubled and occasion-tripled columns.

Some reminds me of Mac Low, some of Language stuff, some of Hopkins, some of nameless things. She has a group with Ovid in the Intro; I'd rather not look or see, except for that Kud and Ovid, whom I name because she does.

The following are two from "Song of the Piper's Innocence, THIS' Signature Poem":

'Pipe, sit still on down and up
In a bed that all may wet.'
So he rub so for a try;
And Pipe pick a favorite spot.

And Pipe make a little hurt,
And Pipe stain the pillow white,
And Pipe step on happy feet
Every kid wins first to beat

I do love boy and girl and Innocence which may be because of Mind travel as this is oddly Taoist work as well, burbling bodies and arms and legs and deaths and "This' Appeal for this Children's Crusade" which has

Believe me: bankers, big and small whores, raving
naked adults, unclean, bursting germs
at my feet shred

and is really all memorable; well, this is one of the ones with Michael Jackson in the background, but might be a better Lucan. Saturnalia and druid, citric all through.

The Kud Tzu section, "Manual for Love and War," reminds me of Jabes, the slight of hand and text turned inward, as in "Generally, controlling everything is the same as controlling one specific thing." which takes a moment. This section is sustained; I can't imagine backwards. I read parts backwards to be sure, in relation to her "To this end, the author ventures to write everything that is written in the text both forwards and backwards." Mirrorings make me dizzy! In "Pierce and Plow, Man" alliteration works wonder, by the way and is beautiful, burnished; oh, one has the feeling that the whole of the work is odd-in-truth and not for the weird of it.

Th'book sways among polarities that not only interpenetrate, but exchange and play and dissolve, and these occur through distension, dis/tension, discharge, dis/charge of the body pushed and pulled, pushing and pulling to the bursting point. So in the Intro she says "something like a Netscape merry-go-round" and "current technological cultural unconscious' restructuring of space, a conception of the physical world in which locations and identities shift with radical illogic" but the body's bounced bunched elsewhere in the real, it's language and performativity off gleaming ins and outs of things and men and women and boys and girls, it's not Grosz or Butler or Turkle. Which is what's so fascinating about the work — that it makes something totally new, Intro notwithstanding —

Make love, read this work, seethe (see the) world anew —

[Back to Readme]