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4.35 of 5 stars 4.35  ·  rating details  ·  218 ratings  ·  21 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
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
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.
This is absolutely Ariana's masterpiece. This is a BOOK as a BOOK, operating in a magical way. So much beauty and everything. I will read it 100 more times before I can write an adequate review.
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.
sexual oversharing and internet bullshit work to the poet's advantage here. this book is magic.
Dec 24, 2011 Molly rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: poems
"I hear a finch / With a throat like shucking corn." pg. 24
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
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
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.
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
Jacob Wren

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.

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.
- 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
Rachel burns
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.
Dc Lozano
a few moments of brilliance, but the rest is like reading someone's diary with nothing i care to read about.
Isadora Goudsblom
"For the people who love to laugh" indeed.
Richard Chiem
one of my favorite books of poetry
this is by far the shiniest book i own
Jul 22, 2012 Deb marked it as abandoned
not my style
It's complicated...
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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
More about Ariana Reines...
Coeur de Lion The Cow Thursday SAVE THE WORLD The Origin Of The World

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