Fanny Howe selected poems

It is an intriguing position to be in when you return to a book you have read a few times before and find that when you read if for the third time or fifth time you are reading a book you don’t remember reading before. Language has acted beyond memory or reveals a new layer of recollection.

Sometimes it feels like intimate life can split the fundamentals of recollection and redistributed it in a new way – the old bridge is now a runway; the fountain by the park bench is now a column holding up a parking building; the house with fresh blue paint on the sills rests as a toy in the stream. I’m probably being overly surreal. But, sometimes not only the function of words seems to have changed but the very actions of words; there is a sense of things reorientated to be recognized; a sort of vigilant near-sighting. The actions that prepare other actions have redeployed the chemistry of assumption, prejudice, the exit squeaks – I write for the second time, the personal craving of silence is dust, and find it slicks the foot of a dancer in a community hall, not as I thought some final falling into the self.

I really felt like I was reading Fanny Howe’s selected poems. I really felt a series of cross sections were working for me, beyond the stark beauty and rigor of the language I sensed tangled moments of emotion, of which the action in the world was hinged on consciousness of action bisecting the realms of politics, poetics, aesthetics in ethics, the realm of domestic humour, the giant clobbery feet of memory against the woven strands of landscape, birds.

I think there is something to be said when a writer takes the things which most conflict and converse within them, and reactivate the intersection of these experiences; sensing always an action that is yet to be layered in time.

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