Matt's Reviews > Fort Red Border

Fort Red Border by Kiki Petrosino
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's review
Aug 22, 2010

liked it

I'm not sure what to make of this, another selection from the list of "best small press books of poems for summer" that went around a while back and ended up on HuffPo. On the one hand, I see that there's something salacious enough about writing a series of poems documenting your interracial relationship with Robert Redford that makes it hard for a press NOT to publish this collection, that makes it hard for reviewers to not stop and stare. But on the other hand, ew, Robert Redford could play himself in a zombie movie and not need makeup. And more significantly, maybe, I'm not sure that Petrosino says much here that I think is all that interesting-- Redford doesn't known about the kitchen in black hair? It feels like the lessons he learns are so unrevealing that it makes blackness seem like not much of a thing, and deprives the poems of shock or surprise or whatever frisson such an odd erotic pairing is meant to give.

There are other sections in this book, of course, and I think there are a decent number of okay poems in them, as there are in the Redford section. The poems are pretty prosey, without always telling interesting stories, and a lot of the poems felt kind of flat to me-- but then, I'm a particular kind of reader, and I go in for difficult syntax and etc, so who's to say. I'm sure lots of people think these poems are great, and more power to them. I've certainly read less rewarding books of poems.

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