Solid Quarter

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Two New Chapbooks from Horseless Press

Horseless Press has released two new chapbooks Deseret by Kirsten Jorgensen and SEWN by Nathan Hauke, and they are beautifully done. They both have cover art by Michael Sikkema, which involves these strange juxtapositions and collisions. The chaps themselves are made on thick paper with a nice font, stapled and bound with a thick cover. Jorgensen's poems are grounded in some cases with these ethereal shapes hovering just at the edges of the words. The effect mimics the subject of these poems, mostly inspired by the landscape (Utah), but one of the images also reminded me of hurricane shapes out in the Gulf. I guess in some ways rock and water collide and speak in similar tones. The text too recalls that dismal McCarthy post-apocalyptic story, but I couldn't even watch the movie version while I greedily devoured Jorgensen's text: "I'd dig a tunnel/ through my bones to yours/ wide kind palms pressing into the floor"

Where Deseret is shaped by land, SEWN is shaped by psychological distances. Lines are displayed and then crossed out, Rowlandson's captivity narrative echoes her unyielding faith, and the grain of the table thrums. Nature is relayed as both trapped and alive with activity, a nice metaphorical parallel to the nod to Rowlandson: snow catches, leaves shake on the edge of dropping and the sparrow is mute. It's the moment before movement caught in these lines recorded and caught on the "tape," forever stilled in their momentum: "It's thirty degrees near the maple tree/ While I concentrate on a brown leaf shaking on its branch/ With a little terror in my throat- some kind of hesitation" The text also draws from Stanley Cavell's The Senses of Walden, a book I am not familiar with, but nature is easily the pivotal point upon which this text turns.

Get both chapbooks here:

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