This is the Story of Things that Happened (Dusie, 2011)
I l-o-v-e this poem of negative and positive assertions. I l-o-v-e that it is comprised of “stories” about and not about the roundabout of contemporary existence. I l-o-v-e the dialectic which is established amidst a seeming welter of things and concepts. Relation is everything. And the sum of relations is not a math problem. It is an ever dissolving picture of one’s totality. As Behrendt writes toward the end of the piece:
This is a story about information
as an extreme sport.
This is a story about the life & death struggle
of a photograph.
This is the Story of Things that Happened is, I believe, a haunting poem of assertions shored up against a tidal wave of depression. It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read.
Acquiescence, (Dusie, 2011)
This little chapbook is a beautiful object: an accordion fold poem slipped inside of a sleeve.
Acquiescence is a dark and searching monologue about drowning and separations, uncertainty and despair. If This is the Story of Things that Happened confronts a tidal wave of depression, Acquiescence rehearses what it might mean to
Behrendt's writing is charged with an ache for connection and understanding. She's a searcher. The end of the poem made me weep:
I don’t know
what it is
what anything is
and why everything
is a thing and why
this pains me so
and why it aches
and aches and aches
way way down
way way down
2 new gorgeous books of luminous dark matter from Lynn Behrendt. Poetry doesn’t get any better than this. I am in awe of this work.