Wednesday, April 27, 2016

New titles at Black Radish Books

Spring 2016 has been busy with new books by both Jen Tynes and Jesse Nissim.

Deftly flipping the quotidian inside out and on its head, Jen Tynes’ Hunter Monies leaves one wondering which rabbit/wormhole she, and we with her, have fallen through. Her fissured narratives relentlessly embrace the fractured, composite texture of experience and memory, unstitching the certainties by which we navigate our lives, provoking the ‘queer’ pediment just underneath: “a blue insulator / come to me like a bird.” Hunter Monies scissors open syntax, stitches idioms, spells trouble. Jen Tyne’s images soar across one another, droll grotesques by which to see our way through. Go on “out in the lush” with her, “all the men draped // in pink sateen,” wearing this “dream crown, a crown made of everything.”  Jen Tynes’ Hunter Monies is available at SPD.

And just about to arrive at SPD, Where they would never be invited by Jesse Nissim.

The uncanny architecture of the three long poems that make up Jesse Nissim’s Where they would never be invited is in itself elegiac and moving. And elegy, here, “sieving morality from myth / in filmy layers” is complicated. As age-old longings to make a home have become “a famous scene of captivity,” is it we who are culpable? Have we come to inhabit our desires as if squatters in a devastation we cannot afford to own? Yet, Nissim’s voice never falters in its tender attention to our “tilted” dreams and “translucent illusions” born in capitalism’s centrifuge. And, yes, page by page, stunningly, the poems eviscerate American capitalism—even as lawn chairs, bathtubs, fences, backyards, and wall paint are spun and lifted up in compassionate articulation until they form a “single logic,” which like a dream, “hunts the internal.” And, not just the internal, but the eternal as well, for as Nissim tells us, “the real broken transaction is darkness.” — Barbara Tomash