unnarrator's Reviews > The Body Mutinies

The Body Mutinies by Lucia Perillo
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Jan 22, 2010

liked it

What Perillo does in this book, she does really really well. I laffed, I got grossed out, I was convicted in my own complicity.

But...but...(but one cannot always go on saying "but"...) BUT, it was all very square (lots of "how" and "the way"), though from within that squareness she executes these moves which are truly no doubt very productively shocking to her readership—talks about genitals and dead bodies and uses words like jism, etc. Her diction sets are hilarious and charming, her free-verse formal skills unerring. But...but...but...I read it in forty minutes and just think, Is that all? Is that all there is? And don't remember feeling this way about her newer stuff.

I can't help feeling that language has bigger game out there for us to skin and fry up. The Duende and the Professoressa say, poems are for the rest of us too, you know; poems are for people. This is a very Nicanor Parra idea with which I cannot disagree. And yet...okay, I guess I'm just forever going to trail off when confronted with this aesthetic quandary so enough with this "review" and let's just say, four stars for what it is, two stars for what it's not, which isn't fair at all, but then who said life was fair. Anyway it was a perfect read for a rainy lonely Sunday menstrual morning.

(PS, plus she gets an extra half-star somewhere in there for using epigraphs from Stoppard, Berryman ("Rilke was a jerk") and one of the Brujo's favorite lines from Flannery O'Connor: "She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.")

(PPS and this part of the Purdue blurbery kit is just GODAWFUL, and I know Perillo probably finds it so, too: "Using the long lines and narrative style that have been identified with some of the finest male poets of our times..." OH RETCHIFY.)
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