I have a lot less patience as a reader for text that tries to make new language at the expense of remaking it–language as pure and asocial substrate–and in part I think this is attached to how I read poetry. By nature of lifestyle I don’t read sequestered away from the non-poetic, I read on the subway and on breaks from my job. I read surrounded by idiom and cliche and all the usual stuff of public language: from small talk to advertisement to technical text, so work that slides out of that blistered skin is always most attractive to me. Karen Solie does this well, too. In reverse sometimes. In “The Corners” (it’s in the new book) she pulls out of this layered, materials-heavy analysis of a laundromat with “No one can be alone like they can.” which is the kind of sentence you expect to see on a poster for a Romantic Comedy. But what makes the sentence stick with you is the work that set it up. That’s an unmaking and remaking of the language that appeals to me. A kind of reciprocal experimentation, where idioms are the metaphors that taught you how to metaphor.
- Jacob McArthur Mooney, in interview with Dominique Bernier-Cormier over at PRISM international. You can read the whole thing here.