This text is filthy and fertilized, filling and emptying, filling and emptying, atrocious and politic with meaning. The Cow is a mother, a lover, and a murdered lump of meat, rendered in the strongest of languages. "I cannot count the altering that happens in the very large rooms that are the guts of her."
I have been reading this book and at times I think that I am starting to get into it, starting to like what it's doing, and then I feel taken out of it, yanked by my collar, no, by the scruff of my neck, no, grabbed by my beard and yanked up out of my chair, out of the book, to somewhere else entirely. Then I start reading it again and I start slipping into the text, into the body of the text, into a phantom body of the author. I look at the titles of the poems an...more
Read this book, cover to cover, in rapt horror. Then read it again. Topically:
The industrial processing of cow carcasses, piece by piece, stage by stage, for complete consumption.
The formal (in broken, wild manic clipped lines, in borrowed material from John Ashbery and the Merck Veterinary Manual, in long digressions and expletive laden outbursts) and literal violence to traditional and contemporary poetry ("While American poetry dissolved its I the starvational and massacred bodie...more
Update: I find myself resistant to the process part of this book (not a section but a strand). I know the project--put the flesh back on the bones, acknowledge the mess, etc--and Reines even addresses the reader's unwillingness directly--but to address is not to convince, still less to impel. I'm just not going with it. . . I can't help thinking that the...more
Here is one of the shorter poems from the book, which I love:
Are you so intelligent your body doesn't have you in it.
Everything could be beautiful maybe.
If it wasn't already a factory.
A milking machine is a machine attached to the valve of a body that is living.
That body has veins and is a little rosy at the teat.
Sucking is the main thing. It is t...more
though i gotta say, mischievously, that i wish i had written this, if only for the "megan milks' the cow" jokes -- ah, childhood persecution
Ariana Reines enacts a poetics of disaster, overflow and obscenity. Her first book, THE COW (Fence, 2006), is “is a voluptuary, a vat of mushy ideals and disgusting feelings” (“Sucking: a Statement of Poetics”). She states that she has often “resented the cleanliness and elegance of tight and perfect writing”, and “felt that writing should be dirtier and more excessive”. Dirt and excess abound in these poems, such as in “Nico Said Excrement Filters Through...more
But there was a lot of uses of "signification" "meaning" and other phenomenological terms that made the whole book feel like of lit grad school-y. I think the author was, like, 25 when she wrote it, so it's a pardonable crime! But while I liked the premise, this book was executed in a way that took itself SO se...more
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