This Is Not A Single Sentence Review: Two Recent Spooky Girlfriend Press Chapbooks

24 Jan

I’m looking at these chapbooks and I’m guessing which one is better, before reading, and oh yeah it’s clear, “That one, the one with the winged deer and lion flying over a desert, by A Minetta Gould, an author I’d heard of.”

Woah-wee was I wrong. That flying lion had much more to sink its teeth into than I did. Both sections of the Gould book featured tiny sections of texts, one on each page, which I can handle in cumulative effect situations, but I was done, and I was thinking, “What?” What I’m saying is, I’m not sure what to take away from this book. I know I know, this is my aesthetic talking, but I need more to clutch.

The Twelve Wives of Citizen Jane, on the other hand, threw itself into the form, twelve poems, successively about each of Citizen Jane’s wives (SURPRISE). I feel that’s important to mention, because as I moved from one to another, I was pleased with how this character of Citizen Jane unfolded, gaining clarity into the series. While this chapbook lacked pizzazz in looks, it twisted out goodness of story.

Check out this opening to “Jane’s Fourth Wife”:

A ballistics specialist, always
Ready for a good wing-it.

Yoked double, melon rinds
Rim the community center lot

Where they flew each other up
A flagpole to the tune of privately

Inclined to expand and contract
With privileged information.

Dutch Baby Combo/The Boys Are Talking About Restlessness At Five-Points by A. Minetta Gould

The Twelve Wives of Citizen Jane by Daniela Olszewska

Spooky Girlfriend Press

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3 Responses to “This Is Not A Single Sentence Review: Two Recent Spooky Girlfriend Press Chapbooks”

  1. Luke January 25, 2011 at 5:07 am #

    So wait…the Olszewska book is better than the Gould book because you like the format of the poems more?

    This is not a review. This is a dismissal with no justification. Why not post excerpts from the Gould book you didn’t like?

    You indicate that “need more to clutch.” What does that mean anyway? You need more words to a page, because turning the page is antithetical to reading?

    Just give me SOMETHING here.

  2. tlgobble January 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    Luke-

    No. In the Olszewska book, there is a strong sense of self, of happening, the writing unfolds in a way that is more impactful as a story. As I said above, “I was pleased with how this character of Citizen Jane unfolded, gaining clarity into the series.”

    The cumulative effects of the pieces, which seemed to be the point with the sections, were not there for me. It was a matter of the story lacking, not aided or avenged by any other poetic element that worked for me.

    I’m not really sure where your assumptions that I want “more words to a page” comes from.

    I’ve removed the Reviews Category of this post. I hope that gives you SOMETHING.

  3. ce. March 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    I re-added the Reviews category. That this post doesn’t adhere to Luke’s standards or definitions of what a review is doesn’t mean it’s not one.

    We do things a bit differently here. We’re not the NYTBR. We respond. We recognize our own aesthetic biases. Tyler didn’t need to harp on and on about what he didn’t quite like or get out of Gould’s book. He wanted to get to the positive points of what he liked about the other book.

    He did give you something. He gave you his opinion and thoughts. He gave you a link to Spooky Girlfriend so you could buy Gould’s book and decide for yourself.

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