Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Jen Bervin is a pretty amazing poet (and rumor has it, a pretty good sister too), with a pretty amazing ability to package poems...seriously, in 2005 who the fuck published e-chaps? Her work is often sparse and spacey, in a spatial way, and so controlled you feel the tension like you do when someone is making you hit yourself (the act of being "made" is far more immediate than the blows). In short, Bervin's poems are often in the act of being made; you are being made, but you are also doing the making. As textual experiments, you the observer are often made to consider the act of reading/viewing, made to engage yourself, made to see reading as an active rather than, as it often is, a passive experience.
With that, and maybe some of this, you really should read Bervin's new chap, "The Silver Book." Where most of her previous projects seemed intent on witnessing words, this book, like a new kind of mantra, begs you to make them...

write to get lost in the day — get

the time from friends — make them a

memorable meal and forget what you made

— write — we are tasting new peaches

— all the time — write you waste

nothing — write nothing is wasted on

you —

This poem is a love letter that could be for you, but probably isn't, and you feel dirty but also quite beautiful as you read it. While pleading, the poem never loses its power, never seems out of control...it's plainness, it's nakedness driving you toward moments of pure and purposeful awe. You are still being made, but there's a lack of awareness in the poem that bleeds over into you that leaves you feeling surprised, struck, and often delighted (and I mean that). To be made to delight...why isn't that the only thing we try to do in poems?

Look, buy the fucking book, alright? I'm tired.

No comments: