(at right: cover of Felino Soriano's forthcoming chapbook, Particular Parallels of an Isolated Attention (Wheelhouse Press, 2009). Cover design: David Wolach & Gianna D'Emilio.
If you haven't gotten a chance to read Thom Donovan's new chapbook, Make Believe (post below), I urge you to put it on yr booklist. Donovan's work constructs itself around and through various films, including Guy Ben-Ner's Berkley's Island, a short that, as with much of Ben-Ner's work, explores with humor and horror the domestic life's unresolvable tensions, and through the constructed lens of the domestic, trains these tensions outward. Both Donovan's use of the domesticated stanza--lines that are of nearly equal length on the page while rubbing up against their own disjunctive (violent) metaphors, as well as the metaphors themselves (turning the eye of the camera back on itself--"O our unwitting linoleum" and "holes" and "dissolving"), set themselves up as both ekphrastic response and beyond ekphrasis. These are circuitous (inverted? refractive?) responses to the strange, horrifying, and funny interruptions in Berkley's Island. Donovan's "unwitting linoleum" dissolves at the moment the outside world fractures the insular set of Ben-Ner's house, his island, as a rock inexplicably comes through his window--was it thrown? (Edward Said's famously symbolic gesture, taken as a terrorist act, of throwing a rock at a tank during the 2003 Israeli incursion comes to mind here), or did the rock hurl itself from noplace? Did it materialize in mid-flight as such a solid metaphor that it could shatter a thin outer layer of glass and interrupt the equally radical act of play?
Do check out Donovan's work, as very soon new chapbooks will pile up on your virtual desktop, and then what will you do? I'm happy to announce that Wheelhouse will be soon throwing at you new chapbooks from Uche Nduka, Stan Apps, Elizabeth Kate Switaj, Laura Carter, Ed Baker, and Felino Soriano, among others a little bit later down the road.