Catherine Daly reviews Antidotes for an Alibi
Amy KingAntidotes for an AlibiBlazeVox BooksISBN 0-9759227-5-02005
These poems read to me like poetry versions of flash fiction. Now, I like flash fiction very much, but I like the more fabulistic kind. Amy King is writing the fabulistic kind of flash fiction -- I want to say, "the good kind" -- in poetry. What does this mean? Well, when lineated, the line breaks in the poems point to the jumps in the narrative. When not, the poems still take the same little leaps that poems take. I guess I'm struggling with the new sentence this morning. I am not seeing "torsion" as I understand it, nor am I looking for it -- I am just saying that these poems have little leaps in them that flash fiction of a similar type does not. For example, this poem, "Evening In," is a story of screening a particular kind of call:
Mother phoned the premature deathof father to me. A machine shuffledher words. I played back the storyof my childhood and grieved.
Now, I would probably end the stanza here, or title it something different. In any case, the evening in begins with a message in a machine. I would think flash fiction might use "the machine" and not jump so quickly to "story of my childhood."
Afterdinner, blocks of toddler teak woodfell, then floated, mistaken for cork.Household acts boiled over Aunt Max'sblack pot rim where we succumbedto the likelihood of work. We were allenchanted when the little kettle drippedand wrote proverbs to complete our pactwith amazing accents. Dessert hintswafted past raised cups of homegroundcoffee, whiskey-tinted, underthe blue haze of living room light.
In this second part of the poem, the progression is chronological. After dinner, some french press coffee and dessert. I don't think "household acts" and "dessert hints" would be in flash fiction. They are too mysterious. Interestingly, the references to fables and fiction continue, in "enchanted," "writing," "proverbs," "pact, " and "accents." The line break after "dripped" makes it unclear whether the kettle (presumably whistling) is writing or that "we" who are enchanted are writing. But overall, a little story of a poem, which is recognisably a poem, not fiction.
In the next-previous prose poem, "Land into Sea," the jumps are between sentences -- I don't see each sentence doing as much heavy lifting as in a poem, and I see bigger jumps between the sentences. I also see bigger jumps -- associative ones -- than in fabulistic flash fiction. It has the logic of some poems where the themes are established, play together a while, and then reach a conclusion. We start with a relatively concrete example, a fabulistic but also realistic fear:
On the car-hugging road, I am shocked that one day I fallasleep and the stray dog could die.
Not the road is hugging the car, not the car the road (as car commercials would have -- did you know most city car commercials are filmed in downtown LA?). In any case, car, road, sleep, dog, death. Very clean and neat. Then, out of the shrubbery at the side of the road -- a crowd.
These orders of truth awaken self defense, so urge the crowd, "Betray yourselves." Every fugitive deserves retreat at depths the bathysphere can't reach.
Who is the fugitive? The narrator? The dog. The dog and the narrator. The narrator is more likely to fall asleep and die than fall asleep and kill a dog. I.e., life is fugitive. So you see, by figuring out the difference between the first sentnce and the second sentence, you've got poetry, because flash fiction tends to spell this sort of stuff out, not point all sorts of different directions. But, note, this is sentences which are addressing different people and having different characters, not necessarily "torque-ing" as I understand it.
Since lame-o short reviews usually mention the title, I'll say -- I like this title and the way is points to the flash fiction in poetry theme. For what is an alibi, but a very specific sort of potentially verifiable narrative. And what is an antidote to that, but the fabulistic.
The Spirits de Copan
Two Poems, with Figurative Language
Says Mr. Dennis Siluk, when asked to review his poetry somewhat, for he hesitates all the time when I ask him to so; I can tell you. Anyhow, he said to me (responding more on poem #728, "Derivative Echoes"): "Figurative language, meaning words used to refer to something that you don't really mean, is used here to make noises, as are metaphors sometimes. Probably the reason I used figurative language imagery here was to tie the ideas and feelings my poem [s] expresses [ness] to the physical world in which I want it to exist." He lost me somewhere along the line, but it sounded good when I read the poems. Rosa Penaloza.
Two Poems with Triggers [and a commentary]
So Many Einstein's
Shadows of the Andes; Ollantayambo; and Cesar Vallejo [Poems in English and Spanish]
1) Shadows of the Andes [or: Song to the Andes]
The Plane from Iquitos [1959-Part One]
Iquitos & the AmazonPart One
Whats A Prisoner to Do?
What's a prisoner to do when justice fails and the innocent is escorted off to jail?
Blind Designs [a Poem] and a Note by Rosa on The Other Door
You Lost Your Last Gamble and Me
I will never think twice nor will I roll the dice When it comes to my life I will take my Grannio's advice
Three Love Poems [all wicked]
Advance: Mr. Dennis Siluk's poetry can have its fire-hearted twists: as with 'Lovers'...', and 'Death...' and the 'Loves's Curse';but love can carry with it, luring assets, especially in these three poems, as you will soon see; two of which he calls sonnets. He sings a dim song, but it all seems to fit in the river of bitter waters; or salty waters. Be that as it may, they are worth the adventure in reading them, weary as they may be. For those interested, his new book of poems will be out in weeks, "Spell of the Adnes," it will be a charming book. Rosa Penaloza
The King and Delka & Moiromma: the Cold Planet [Parts 25 and 26]
Take some time to stop and look at nature. Pick up a rock or two and think about where it might have started out and what it might have gone through to end up where you found it.
So many looked to you for inspiration,
Three Poems: Phantom of the Rocks; Lady from Lima & Bell Ringer of de Copan
Phantom of the Rocks
San Francisco [Almost a Sonnet]
(The city by the bay of Northern California, near which the Pacific Ocean resides; the year is 1967)
Mechanical Poetry - Part Three
Have you ever read the lyrics of a Simon and Garfunkle song? Pure poetry. Want to write poems like that? Start copying them. Let me explain.
Black Blood, in Jeremiahs Vines - A Poem and an Article
Black Blood, in Jeremiah's Vines[A Dream Poem]
Opposites Do Attract Quite Well
When I am climbing up, you are stepping down.When I wear a smile, you wear a frown.When I am very happy, you are feeling sad.When I am doing well, you are faring bad.
Three Sweet Poems, and Two Not So Sweet [now in: SPANISH and English]
1) End Poem
You make me smilelike I've seldom done beforeYou give me a reasonto want more and more...
I Shall Wait...
I Shall Wait..
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