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"The world is touched and stands forth," writes Mary Kinzie in this book of seductive poetic experiment. In lines by turns fragmented and reflective, she shatters and reassembles such curiosities as an engraving by Albrecht Durer and the portrait of a notorious suicide whose children develop a secret telepathy. In one of her many powerful longer pieces, she collects glittering shards from myriad versions of the Cinderella story:

Was the young girl running
out of it because
--recall the blood
within the shoe?--
it hurt her?

Kinzie's verse moves mysteriously between folk-lore and urban devastation, between white magic and the concoction of mood drugs in the modern laboratory. In each poem, she draws our attention to the chinks of light in the dark narratives that surround us, in a language animated by her sympathy and deep moral intelligence.

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 23, 2002 – Depression, anxiety, motherhood and the passage of time mark this sixth collection from Kinzie, who continues to explore highly personal, internal themes, intermixing short lyrics with more formally innovative, discursive meditations. In the first of four sections, Kinzie focuses on the material presence of time, weather and ambient sound, wishing, with humor and characteristically suspended syntax, that "the world/ could latch on to the/ cables of bast or plastic/ the bowlines guys snotters/ vangs halyards/ the hawsers on their sheaves smoking/ whomp lashing kuhCHING / ringing out chimmee." The second section comprises a formally heterogeneous, moody sequence called "The Book of Tears," which swings from romantic elation ("...we gaze and gaze/ at this dappling joyshow/ stretched out to the cisterns of purple/ shadow...") to dispirited boredom and ennui ("how wearisome always/ to have to be/ doing something..."). The most problematic section of the book, however, is the third: a long pseudo-narrative that imagines the thoughts of young men outside of a "rough jazz club" in 1950s Chicago. In an exoticizing and presumptuous meditation, the speaker ascribes to these men—these "dark faces" in a car, these "creatures/ who became themselves / only at night"—a shockingly stereotypical set of circumstances: "Were they fathers too/ were their children roaming/ through the alleys falling/ into harm/ scarred/ by desolation// Did they even know / their fathers...." The book recovers a bit of lost ground in a final section, which consists mainly of longer, free-verse poems—including a partial retelling of the Cinderella story and a meditation on psychotropic drugs ranging from Zoloft to Ativan—that use rhyme to fresh effect.
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  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Poetry
  • Published: Feb 11, 2003
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 96 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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