Tag Archives: Guernica

New Love: Natalie Eilbert

18 Oct

I got embarrassed a recent morning, waking up to a small flood, waking up to this new love Natalie Eilbert. I read two of her poems in this fabulous new issue of Sink Review (below below!) and got twelve (or more!) kinds of shocked as I dug deeper into her work. How had I not perked to this stuff, canvassed in my favorite journals? How does this gal shine so darkly?  “Assembled the ashes like they were a thing/in need of assembly.” That’s one way to put it. In Guernica, she hints at her way of reckoning, carrying the machine, hoisting the flag, creating this new etymology (and further, the new country), with pained story and images of the so cruel is so beautiful variety (i.e. “I carried my machine still//to a bog. Dumped it there the way a bullet/enters say an elephant’s heart.//When the elephant’s heart won’t quit/and we fail again at mercy//this means my country, the sinking/of its metal a new form of prayer.”) In Smoking Glue Gun comes her honest reminder to love the trash of this world, the piles we’d rather not see again, as “like it you didn’t ask to be made.” Or what about in Diagram, did you see that? How she made the anguished ugly blotch roll off your tongue into another portion of the lit world so charismatically, rhythmically, somehow calm.

As if there is need for an alibi,
Say home, mean house. As if neither could burn.
Say fallen, as if it were a branch already
Mulched and turned. (You’re boasted, detached)

Man, I’m pumped at this new love. Natalie Eilbert, I do declare, rocks the poetic boat right with her snapping of plastic forks, daring you to dig into this muck with her, so dangerously enchanting, until like her poem at Sixth Finch begins, “I keep thinking about the sorceress.”

Until I’m back where it started, in the mystifying mist of her poems in Sink Review:

And did it occur to you in all these years that I could speak for myself. You’re a good girl, N, you stick to your books. Let us say I’ve moved on, I’ve rented the city for one year’s time and will not stop fucking these scared little boys. There is a fog over the towers, they hover and putrefy in Ozymandian disgrace. Pastries clog the gutters and I’ve never had such a fat ass fat breasts fat hands, this fat my beautiful beautiful. I’ve gone dizzy with drink, The Philadelphia Story won’t stop playing and I won’t ever get over the bored portrait of godhood in Katharine Hepburn’s waistline. There will never be enough milkshakes so far as I’m concerned.

Read Minor’s novel excerpt at Guernica; you won’t regret.

26 Jul

With all the hoopla surrounding the DOGZPLOT party and the Vouched ATL launch reading/party, we’ve not gotten to do as much of what we do here best at Vouched Online, which is recommending excellent online literature.

Like this excerpt from Kyle Minor’s new novel up at Guernica: it was all over my Twitter feed last week, but I didn’t have any real opportunity to sit down with it until this morning, and holy hot damn, yes. Kyle doesn’t relent:

Not a week earlier, he had gone into a dark dirt-floored house where the rainwaters that leaked from the stone-covered rust holes in the tin roof were falling on the bodies of Leila Altidort—the wife of his best Haitian friend Kenel—and her stillborn baby. Blood everywhere. Stained the ground, her legs, Kenel’s hands and chest as he held his wife’s head to his chest. He put the dead baby in her arms, and he held up her arms with his arms, and they rocked there, the three of them, the two dead, and the one living. And when Samuel came into the house and saw them there, he joined them, put his arms around Kenel and the bodies and rocked with them. He didn’t need a doctor to be first to the diagnosis: Placenta previa, that low-ride and tear in the uterus that killed the mother, and that horrid umbilical tangle that strangled the baby with the life-giving cord. So often it was this, the too-late diagnosis for want of an ultrasound machine, a sonogrammer, to catch it early, and mother and half-term baby bled to death within spitting distance of the mission hospital. He wanted to grab old humorless Phelps by the lapels and shake him and say: This is what is sacred. This is what you want me to say, and I will not say it. But time would play the changes. He knew it. The time would come, and he would say the words, use the gruesome story of the untimely and purposeless death of Kenel’s wife and baby to get the money, then use the story again on the disbursers of the money he raised, to try to convince them to use the money to buy, really buy, an ultrasound machine, instead of another batch of battery-powered radios that would only tune to the one radio station, the one with the preaching and singing the mission approved. To try and fail, because Brother Joe and his ilk—those who controlled the purse strings—would say: What power is there in the ultrasound machine? The ultrasound machine proclaims on one life, but the radio station proclaims to tens of thousands the greater message, for the greater life giving, and: Don’t do that, they’d say. Don’t do that to me.

Read the full excerpt at Guernica.

It was hard to decide what I would excerpt, there are so many incredible passages. You must read this. You must be patient after reading this, for the novel is not slated for release yet, and so you must wait, we must all wait for this.