Saturday, July 19, 2008

Black Dog Songs

What a perfect way to spend an overly-hot Saturday. Indoors with an amazing, refreshing poetry book. Black Dog Songs, by Lisa Jarnot blew me away without intimidating me into existential paralysis. That is, they engaged me. Linguistically, technically brilliant. Playful and yet deep. Using language and meter and sound to create emotional worlds that are surreal and somehow mental, like cognitive dissonance in an urban park. Whatever that means. My favorite was a series called They. Here's one of them:

They Loved Paperclips

They loved harmony they loved ant hills they loved food and cookies and harpoons they loved the sound of laces of the shoes and snow they loved the snow on Thursdays in the rain and when they met they loved that too and igloos and the trees and things to mail and chlorine and they loved the towels for the beach and hot dogs and the pool and also when the wind rose up they loved the ceiling and the tide and then they loved the sky.

(This poem is left and right justified in the book.)

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