Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Out from Otoliths — Bobbi Lurie's the morphine poems

Now out from Otoliths.

the morphine poems
Bobbi Lurie
56 pages
Otoliths, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-9872010-5-8
$12.15 + p&h
URL: http://www.lulu.com/shop/bobbi-lurie/the-morphine-poems/paperback/product-20299925.html
the morphine poems succeeds as language breaks through language, metastasizes through the harboring of pain. The words spread across the page with a content all their own; uncanny, they haunt the body. Paragraphs of disorderly text are ordered; a poetics of life against death seeps through. This is an important and powerful book, concerned with illness that almost tends towards a pathology of speech itself. The body refuses to disappear and the words simultaneously convey despair, heartbreak, and resistance. Bobbi Lurie writes unsparingly about sickness and wayward health in a brave and detailed cartography of body and biography, creating a work of brilliance and renewal. Everyone should read this book, which is everyone's journey, one way or another, a journey from life into life. It is a journey that is all too often shamefully hidden, a journey we need to contemplate and embrace. —Alan Sondheim

This wracked and fragile (i.e. powerful) volume “defines the disorder to not be a noun so much as a metaphor for self-sabotage”–semiotic flux run amok as daily rituals: eating, attending gatherings, girl-things. Long swirls of sensory and cognitive language sentences, one heir to Bob Kaufman’s Second April’s run-ons tinged with a morphine sensibility. A feminine dissolution, self-critical and at the mercy of bare larders and bereft landscapes. Sister Morphine stripped of hip. Honest as hell. —Maria Damon

The Janus face of poetry has given Bobbi Lurie its undivided attention. —Jeff Harrison

What really strikes me is how utmostly clearly her mind worked in the imminence of “... the doctor’s pockmarked face up close as the iv drips 'i’ll kill you,' says he, 'then keep you alive' and i….i…i…” There's nothing surreal about the rushing images, which are deeply and acutely self-reflexive. “perhaps a porch i never sat at a feeling of fellowship against deception ...“ She doesn't fight reason or try to get "beyond" it. I mean: she never tries to escape the here and now by inventing hiding places. “a life without epiphanies is all i ask of poets ...“

In the morphine poems, Bobbi Lurie spares herself and her reader from faked escapes (consequently from the burden of suppressed fears), therefore she doesn't multiply suffering by itself, and that is liberating –and a very rare attitude! “how she gave me her seat as if a friend as i was passing out kindness took my hand filled with stones and sour summer reprieve in fruit ...“ —Márton Koppány


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