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4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  330 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Composed in the direct, accessible, consciousness-piercing style readers of Ariana Reines’ first two books are wildly enamored of, Mercury comprises a group of long poems. These interlocking works speak to the substance and essence of what is said, transmitted, transacted, "communicated" between persons. Reines proposes that substance and essence are opposites, and explore ...more
Paperback, 242 pages
Published December 6th 2011 by Fence Books (first published October 13th 2011)
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JSA Lowe
Aug 18, 2012 JSA Lowe rated it it was amazing
Scathingly ambitious—repeatedly, deliberately mawkish and cunning and innocent—and obsessed with assfucking. Reines's work is singular, perfectly Not What You Learned in MFA School, studded with grotesquerie and high sentimentality and arch intellectual clunkiness, it does not Belong, it is Other, it is part of the non-tradition or anti-poetic this writer almost picked up from Norman Dubie, the crazy-fou Beat/NY/Blake vein of American lyric, and I don't think even Ashbery grasps the nettle with ...more
Jan 25, 2012 Farren rated it it was amazing
So much to say about the experience of reading this, but to do so seems to run counter to the spirit of its searchingness, which actually left me feeling very still and quiet and very alive and not in need of so many words.

I gravitated especially profoundly toward the conversation with the Sun at the end of "Leaves" and in the interaction of art/memory/text/family in the final piece.

I really, really, really loved this book. You should just read it.
Mary K
Feb 22, 2016 Mary K rated it really liked it
Could all the women everywhere get down on our knees and scream
No fuck it let's run
We will tear statesmen apart with our bare hands
You think I'm joking?
You can come
Jul 22, 2012 Sienna rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, poetry
Not to judge a book by its cover, but Mercury's is too glorious to ignore: encased in a glossy silver mirror, it reflects back a distorted image of your face, grotesque and beautiful and dream-like all at once. It's fragile, this cover, easily smudged and scratched by careless fingers. Of course, alchemy takes place in a controlled setting. Once you leave the laboratory, attempt to show off the green lion with his ferocious appetite or share the crystalline delicacy of the arbor philosophorum, a ...more
Dec 04, 2014 P rated it really liked it
On first read Reines comes across as perhaps the greatest charlatan in contemporary poetry. Upon subsequent readings, however, her poems reveal themselves as wholly complex, innovative and mature.
Mar 07, 2012 Jacob rated it really liked it
sexual oversharing and internet bullshit work to the poet's advantage here. this book is magic.
Apr 29, 2014 Corey rated it really liked it
Everything has form.
You have form you asshole.
You have form you fucking asshole.

I think the above quote is wonderfully characteristic of the style and voice at work in this book. Simple, brilliant, profane, funny, wonderful. I don't know enough about poetry to give it a proper review but here's what I do know:

- This book (and it is a book--not merely a "collection", but a group of connected, self-refferential poems) is about alchemy, love, abjection, genitalia, oral sex, anal sex, metamorphoses
Jacob Wren
May 09, 2012 Jacob Wren rated it it was amazing

Give up the habit of weeping for yourself, says the woman to the man with the malady of death in the novel by Marguerite Duras.

The sex parts of good books are usually the worst parts, that is too bad about good books.

Some bad books have good sex in them. And sex that I can see is somebody else's.

I want to have the sex that's mine, that sex that I have, okay.

Time to tell the difference between what's emitted and what's left over and what was there in the first place.

Apr 03, 2015 Stephanie rated it liked it
Poetry bundles, like short story anthologies, are difficult to rate because there are brilliant parts and less-brilliant parts, or at least parts I didn't appreciate quite as much. One poem in this bundle, "Save the World" (which is 64 pages long), was so stunning/innovative I was tempted to give the whole thing a four- or five-star rating.
But no, I restrained myself. There are 172 other pages, and among them, a good many quizzical moments. I can't say I really liked the whole bundle, but in it,
Jan 23, 2013 J.A. rated it really liked it
Separated into five equally well wrought sections of vastly different foci, Mercury is much like the compound: liquid, surprising, ever changing. And Reines's use of repetition was, for me, one of the best structural components of the collection. She has a natural ease with language that recreates the inner monologue in a way I found both startling and satisfying. A book to suckle as much as read.
Feb 22, 2014 Erikaaaa rated it really liked it
I think this book really is a wonderful and admirable work as one whole entity. There are some aspects I can't fully get on board with, like all the cocks and all the butt-plugs. I mean, SOME cocks and butt-plugs, sure.
Apr 29, 2012 Vicky rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, favorites
- the front & back cover is silver, a mirror (surprised me)
- a spell book, I saw the word alchemical, "cosmic willingness" 100%
- basically I loved this + would rather discuss it outside of this review box, so
- the end
Dec 12, 2015 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
A phenomenal work by my favorite contemporary poet. A powerhouse of energy that tows the line between raw and perfectly in control.
Rachel burns
Jul 21, 2012 Rachel burns rated it it was amazing
There is nothing I can possibly say to properly describe the power of mercury. Alchemy, syntax, imagery, & pure genius fucked, & birthed Ariana Reines while she was manically writing this book.
Isadora Goudsblom
Nov 29, 2013 Isadora Goudsblom rated it really liked it
"For the people who love to laugh" indeed.
Nov 30, 2011 Nate rated it it was amazing
It's complicated...
david blumenshine
Mar 17, 2012 david blumenshine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-poetry
Dec 24, 2011 Molly rated it it was ok
Shelves: poems
"I hear a finch / With a throat like shucking corn." pg. 24
Shell Frain
Jul 31, 2015 Shell Frain rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Ambitious. Amazing.
May 14, 2013 Brianna rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
this is by far the shiniest book i own
Oct 15, 2015 secondwomn rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, 2015
settle in. and buckle up.
Rose Gowen
Nov 19, 2016 Rose Gowen rated it it was amazing
Maybe I'll read it again, right away.
Oct 12, 2014 Lauren rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
A really strange book. It's rare I can sit down and read a book of poetry instead of preferring to read poems one at a time, spaced out, but this one was okay to sit down and read. I liked the first section the most and felt it was most successful. It made me feel awful, but because a lot of it rang so true, especially the parts about misogyny. The title of the volume, Mercury, felt really apt. It brings to my mind ideas about fluidity and change in people, which I felt some of the poems really ...more
Jun 15, 2013 Dc rated it it was ok
a few moments of brilliance, but the rest is like reading someone's diary with nothing i care to read about.
Emma Binder
Emma Binder rated it really liked it
Mar 25, 2012
Lisa rated it it was amazing
Jan 05, 2016
Danielle Ruse
Danielle Ruse rated it liked it
Oct 26, 2015
Steven rated it really liked it
Jun 30, 2012
Mostafa rated it it was amazing
Jul 24, 2015
Alex Sutter
Alex Sutter rated it it was ok
Dec 15, 2012
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Ariana Reines is the author of The Cow (Alberta Prize, FenceBooks: 2006), Coeur de Lion (Mal-O-Mar: 2007; Fence: 2011), and MERCURY (Fence: forthcoming fall 2011), plus the LP/audiobook SAVE THE WORLD starring Lili Taylor (Fence: forthcoming spring 2011).

Volumes of translation include My Heart Laid Bare by Charles Baudelaire, (Mal-O-Mar:2009), The Little Black Book of Grisélidis Réal: Days and Ni
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