King of The Brooklyn School
Like the fabled NY School of old, Amy King's new *I'M THE MAN Who Loves You* (Blaze/Vox) is unafraid of the everyday, pausing to notice and respond to the presence of others and things, passing on the strained lyricism of soap opera surrealism. I don't know if this work is really a manifestation of an emerging school, but I did go to school immediately on its quick fencer's wit and steady, yet verbally lucious focus on the realities, pleasures and perplexities of ongoing experience. I can't help it, like Amy, I've fallen in love with the real world of things and people. How can she have mastered this so early, when for most, youth is wasted on the Jung and other inflated idealisms. It's not only a pleasure, but an actual relief to see daily moments become remarkable again without becoming either flaccid or hysterical. Don't screech at me, don't preach at me and please pass the breadsticks:
"I had been invisible, untrained disappearing off the grid
for some time, until you asked me to pass the breadsticks
in that split moment of schizo-panic. To give up
a technicolor coat is a brave tragedy with many layers;
we're drawn to any labyrinth, perfection at the center
of artistry..." (*HOW TO GET THERE*)
But this poetry definitively is not about corny, not-so-new age glommy affirmations either. No interest in
"Accordion adventures they're the best instrument
to windbag, to bleat, to push air through daisies
for an alphabet's sake. Androgyny and honesty
ought to play frozen roses on apocalyptic landscapes,
the landscape of Amy King's face fused
with artifical intelligence on which hers lies
infinitely predictable.Blindfolded books could do worse
than the diction of bedtime verse"
So much for stretched out poetry gimmicks and ceaseless and shameless self-promotion. If we're going to be childish, at least lets attempt be a little like actual children. That's cool. So, what *are* you interested in, Amy?
lately I'm craving minimum cravings, dusty old records
that smell like a wood-paneled basement,
posters of Elvis on velvet, and the evolution
of ethnic foods on the Lower East Side.
We've gone from Indian to Choctaw.
Eccentric is out." (*MINIATURE DISASTERS*)
I get a whiff of Kim Lyons here, and a dash of Sharon Mesmer there, with a sprinkle of Nada Gordon : maybe that's where I got the Brooklyn School idea, though I'm not claiming literal influences,
there's Kim's: "Who doesn't hear Robert Johnson
at this place
near King's Highway" (*Saline*)
"plastic infinite waterfall
the matched "Danish* living room "set" (*Saline*)
or Nada's: "the
lamb chop in the dryer,
the snow shovel
in the rumpus room, thinking
if i had a round horse" (*GORGEOUS*a vestibule* from *V. IMP.*)
Well, anyway, the basement's where the imagination is sometimes forced to hide, especially in Brooklyn, my teen years Brooklyn of Bay Ridge,at my parent's house on BR Parkway, with its cement floor cnvered in outdated technology and turn-of-the-century French magazines.
Sure, I pledge allegiance to the books and the language of America as much as the next gal, but after all, the way hour follows hour and day follows day is not that much like a vocabulary exercise; it's more about trying not to get depressed, even trying to renew not just your library card. but this ceaselessly ironic daily life.
OK, not easy but not pathetic either, if there's hope in the rarely automatic quotidian promises of life:
at least that's what I'm getting from Amy King today.
"On top of my name, devotions, no woman
chain whips and lovers: coffee is how
I get other/ countries inside my body." (*ON THE OUNCE THAT SELLS US OUT*)
"Marilyn as metaphor is
applepie modeled on
the grandmothers of invention" (*THE TEMPERATURE'S MOVIE LIFE*)
Am I not THAT old afterall?