Jenny Haniver / Jenny Hanniver: After Mark Lamoureux's Spectre
“for a heart sick from polarities”
Jenny Hanivers are grotesque mermaid sculptures scissored & lacquered from skate and ray—the art of ancient sailors. These demonic masterpieces serve as the impetus for Mark Lamoureux's intelligent & clever collection of poems: ekphrastic fiends cut from film & Other. Lamoureux's implicit sailor, the banshee in a band of revenants, leads the reader through a gallery of Jenny Hanivers. I imagine our host (the ghost that appears in most every poem) as the spectre of Wallace Stevens' “sailor” (remember him, “drunk and asleep in his boots,” the only one wrangling “tigers in red weather?"). A requiem for Imagination on both accounts. He and his consorts, the spectres of dead poets, guide us through winding lines and hallways of collective and individual associations.
“Bring these baubles to my beloved:” Requiem For A Dream—These are “Hard Times At the Carnival,”and this offering, a song of mourning for the sad state of the arts. A Clockwork Orange— “a white orange full/ of black wine” in the “clockwork ark” (deconstructing dichotomies to swim the grey scale of language, the space of poetic language, where time, ideology, society disintegrate); Un Chien Andalou— “our hero's buried in the sand” (the poet, the artist, the “hero,” stifled in the “scrabblebush” of Other).
Jenny Haniver / Jenny Haniver. Self-reflexive. A book of poems about the art of poetry, the art of film, the art of birth/death, the art of language, the subversive parts that awaken us to the whole of Self and Other—the dark parts—unconscious realms of disengagement/engagement—the underside of language—the poet's infernal wonderland.
“Foam rubber skeletons:” Spectre is haunted with “The Return” of great poets. Lamoureux's style is reminiscent of Mina Loy—“sister of the sun” (I think of her as a “sister-poet.” Dare I say Lamoureux is cut from the same “ray?"). I, with “the sibyl's / scapula” and “a fried egg with an eye in the middle,” find myself at A Coney Island of the Mind, spun about in this Tilt-A-Whirl with Stevens in his “many-colored coat;” Elizabeth Bishop carting her fish; Walt Whitman chomping his “blade of grass.” Wheeeeeeee . . .
“dark Mage,” “Prince of Ghosts” “crystal tower,”
“Black sun,” “Hunter's moon," “Stars clatter”
for a fun read at the seaside carnival's hall of mirrors of words of sleeping worlds
“Go back to page 1.”