Marthe Reed's Reviews > UP

UP by Cara Benson
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May 04, 2009

really liked it
Read in May, 2009

"Up", upside down, upsetting the apple cart, up-ended, Cara Benson's Dusie Chapbook, designed by Mark Lamoureaux, up-sets expectations, claiming its spacious pages like canvases.

Where UP is down, voices are layered one against another -- shouting, exclaiming, challenging, interrupting, disrupting, silent: a linguistic act of disobedience. Adopting Brenda Hillman's charge that environmental harm demands something more than "comforting ditties", Benson attacks the page. Alarums, shouts, delight, grief, indignation, as text becomes texture and language material/materiel against erasure.

Benson's pages are a pure delight, the words slipping, sliding, leaping, even vanishing, as black-eyed susans become a field, smog chokes the lungs, a stone let go goes. While words of comfort devolve to mindless chant, the speaker, like Trinity down on her back in the stairwell, tells herself, and us, to "Get UP". Get UP!
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