tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE's Reviews > Spacious

Spacious by Brenda Iijima
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bookshelves: poetry

I'm not familiar w/ Iijima. I 1st noticed her b/c she did the artwork for Michael Gottlieb's "Careering Obloquy". I noticed that more b/c it was color than for any other more substantial reason - chapbk publishing is financially thin, color is a rarity. Both "Spacious" & "Careering Obloquy" were brought out by "Other Publications" in connection w/ "Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs" so I figured Iijima might be a central figure at one or the other &, YES, she's "PPaYYL" or some such.

I just noticed that the person who added the bk to GoodReads didn't even bother to spell her name right. As a GoodReads librarian, I corrected this & added the cover image. I also noticed that the person who added the bk only gave it a 3 star rating. Since this same person always gives Alan Davies bks 5 star ratings (also w/o reviews) I'm tempted to deduce that he's not as close to Iijima as he is to Davies. Neither rating is substantiated by a review.

The cover shows plants. & a chain-link fence. Deducing, perhaps incorrectly, that Iijima lives in the dreadfully blasted environment known as NYC, this becomes significant as one reads the poetry. I actually ENJOYED reading this. I have an entry point. Maybe that's all there is to enjoying reading ANYTHING (ok, I'm deliberately exaggerating).

My entry point is that it's easy for me to imagine Iijima's sharp mind sitting at her presumed computer in her entirely too small & overpriced apt in NYC (projection on my part) & writing whilst ABSORBING & APPLYING whatever she's aware of around her. What she's aware of includes alotof birds & plants & literature. I can relate. There's something very incisive about this writing. She takes it in, she hones it down, she puts it out. Most 'importantly', perhaps, is that she 'waters' those aspects of the environment she spends time noticing/appreciating. Thus, the plants & the birds get more time than cars (THANK GOODNESS).

Mainly, for me, Iijima seems to filter her environment thru her intellect & to turn it into descriptions that hover on the minimal w/o forsaking the details. I don't get a 'point' out of this as much as I get a BEING ALIVE & a MAKING SURE WE 'KNOW' IT - wch is just fine w/ me.
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