Martha Rzadkowolsky-Raoli has written a fantastic review of my chapbook Swallow (Amsterdam Press, 2009) for the Ampersand Books website. She’s reverse-engineered these rather difficult and prickly poems to make clear the theology behind them. The miracle of writing: when our readers mirror back to us more than we consciously realized we had said. I wrote Swallow by mad intuition, but an astute reader finds “method in it” after all. Some highlights:
Jendi Reiter created a tidy poetry book in which swallow means everything you can expect swallow to mean. She exhausts the word; its mashed remains a mix of cow meat, desire, intestines, bird. If you read the book, and you should, you’ll experience the beating of the word. Swallow. How else to learn something new ?(about the parameters of language) — – something only poetry can do, and these poems do it….
…By suggesting disparate contexts, these aphorisms maintain a collaged-world view. I like Reiter’s objection to a poetics bound by singular points of view. I like when word-artists comply with the rules of our new universe (a mess of sources coming at you from everywhere: billboards, email, the doorman). This kind of work feels real….
…Reiter’s rhetorical tricks can remind me of the riddle-ish catechism I was taught. The relationship between premises in these poems get downright eucharistic on logic’s ass. Mysterious pronouncements sound as zany as any church stories of body-magic: The body jesus lived in, the jesus body that is the eucharist, and the jesus body that you put into your body….
Read the whole review here.
You know you want it now: