Saturday, March 5, 2011

2 New Chapbooks by Lynn Behrendt

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

sink down


black water
cold slow

water smooth
slimy water

swirl &
soak it

up, choke
on it

breathe it
in deep

breathe more

of it


sink into

a beautiful

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.

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