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Antidotes for an alibi - poetry

 

Amy King's first full-length collection, Antidotes for an Alibi, insists that we analyze the not to be trusted clarity of our events and the goals that motivate us. How does one essentially get from "A" to "B"-and is there ever exceedingly a "B"? What color is the white space connecting "A" and "B"? Upon nearer inspection, appear realities bring to light themselves to be leaky and fragile, covered with textures and grains that lead the eye on changeable pathways. So what are we to do in a world of newspaper narratives that instruct us concerning tidy endings, murmuring that such endings are doable and even inevitable?

These poems greet us with leaking giraffes, dogs that lick lye, the Lone Ranger, the inhabitants of Dishwater Island, an single wife and a Sikh cab driver, all performing surrounded by a accustomed atmosphere of car phone messages, factory work, walks all the way through woods, red robins and hummingbirds, war zones and American histories. Both the lettering and their shifting frameworks blend and overlap to point out the peculiarity we tend to overlook for clarity's sake. King wants us to reconsider the promise of contemporary events, to see that Truth is no longer a cycle of fixed notations in black and white, but is a shape-shifting, multi-faceted chain of perspectives. Her poetry celebrates the multiplicities that sing contained by the become known of every balk and action; she aims at attractive surges, so that readers may touch and revel in the fears of a center world in motion.

I admire Amy King's poetry tremendously for the way it manipulates deceptively plain foreign language into caring audacities. But her work is never in love with its own spiky cleverness. Quite the opposite: it is marked, even at its most cutting or witty, by an basic refusal to embarrassed laugh at its own surprises. I first came to be au fait with King's poetry, quite appropriately, by the collision of since what the British call "English mosaic" on a streetlamp at the northeast area of Eighth Lane and Broadway in Manhattan. "English mosaic" is what happens when a big shot on purpose creative takes pieces of porcelain, china, clay pots - ordinary, rare, or exceptional - smashes them (that violence being central to rebirth) and air force the beautiful ruins into new relations to one another. That street light seems the complete concrete depiction of King's work, which takes up the concrete and moral world we perceive, holds it gently for a jiffy in a cherishing accept - the develop to dash it adjacent to a hard become known and rearrange the new fragments in strange, enduring ways. Appraisal King's poems makes the eyes smart in every sense of the phrase: readers are compelled to see as doable juxtapositions they never would have envisioned on their own. "English mosaic" also describes the cool fun King has with plain nickel words, cunningly reshuffled. Hers is not a surrealist's art - she does not accept chaos - but she does want to make readers feel that the comfortable rug and chairs they sit on have by some means grown ambulatory and are threatening to walk exterior into the yard to sniff the air. Nonentity is quite safe; nonentity ashes the same - appetizingly so.

-Michael Steinman has in black and white and abridged six books, together with The Happiness of Receiving It Down Right and The Building block of Lavishness, which was preferred as a NYT Notable Book in 2001.

Amy King grew up in Georgia and now spends much of her time in Brooklyn and Baltimore. She teaches English at Nassau Area Institution on Long Island, and her first collection, Antidotes for an Alibi, is free because of Blazevox [books].


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