More than a Single Sentence Review: Elisabeth Benjamin’s The Houses

21 Feb

When you read The Houses it’s easy to imagine Elisabeth Benjamin thumbing through her dictionary, sounding out the words and cutting out her favorites with an x-acto knife, then rearranging them in pleasing patterns on blueprints. So you can see what I mean, here’s an excerpt for you:

On the porch, a new bee landed on one half of the halved pear, which wept bright juice into a white saucer. The woman chose this occupied half, then slowly, carefully ate around the bee. But when it left, she devoured the fruit with the severity of a flame.

She is quickly everything.

I read The Houses three times in succession, and the third time out loud, just to hear the shape the words took  in the air.

Copies of The Houses can be found at Catenary Press

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