Tears in the Fence contributing editor, Pansy Maurer-Alvarez’s new poetry collection, In A Form Of Suspension (Corrupt Press, 2014), which is being launched at Carr’s pub, 1 rue du Mont Thabor, Paris on Friday, 28th March, explores sexual impulse through a series of lush and throbbing sound patterns.
My altitude wavers so rasping, it slips a ring raining onto hands
and hisses words between two spongy blue tides
Like daily loose grammar despite radiance, I soar
and improvise on paper a rapid page pressed to hinge;
sliding open a rusted gap, I sway and pitch my limbs
averting rows of loss that diminish the rewritten labyrinthine chill
Maurer-Alvarez’s poetry combines succulent musicality within a full poetic line and avoids the pitfalls of over-determining the line. She is the mistress of the measured longer poetic line, of the line break, and of being able to manage lines of differing lengths in one stanza. She excels in this collection. It is quite a different skill to say the likes of Rae Armantrout or Shannon Tharp, who excel with the short line and have great depth through brevity. Here the poet is more divergent and produces a beguiling journey for the reader. It is utterly pleasurable taking the reader to unusual places and thoughts, demanding repeated readings. I am reminded of the famous Dr. Niles Crane line, ‘An exquisite meal with one tiny flaw we can pick on all night’ in that there was, at times, insufficient modulation in relation to abstraction. Others may disagree. There are a wide range of sub-texts and language play that bite and that one can chew on for some time. In some cases, I was in awe and at others annoyed. Such are the many pleasures of the poems.
– the history of rainstorm is a naked door
– the waiter will be back, scuffed and literary, granting the acceptable
– a knife recalls blue humidity as a family instrument
– mimosa is composed of Seville
– the ingenious often chant arm in arm with tentative cymbals
– sincerity is equally rated with chamber activity
– the oboe is the flamenco’s counterattack
This section from ’39 Fragments On A Pebble Beach’ illustrates some of the rich diversity in this collection and her neo-aphorisms.
At the book’s core is a clear narrative voice gleefully indulging in gestures and speech acts:
I firmly think that unless this luster of excitement is not withdrawn
from the breast cavity, the jutting out acceleration of surprise will
indicate a double hollow of indulgence. I may collapse. Or a
beautiful avant-garde discourse might ensue and pulsate joy
The book’s title is apt as a number of meanings of suspension come into play throughout. There are at times discord and dissonance as well as the sense of something being discontinued, the condition of being suspended, and a chemical mixing and the state of being dispersed. It is a collection where the sub-texts, often unsaid, outweigh the main theme albeit anchored by an incisive physicality and reverberation. It is an undoubted strength and part of the book’s abiding pleasure.
David Caddy 27th March 2014