Monday, June 1, 2015

Rebecca Anne Banks reviews Jennifer Kronovet's Case Study: With (2015)

Rebecca Anne Banks was good enough to review Jennifer Kronovet's Case Study: With (2015) over at Subterranean Blue Poetry. Thanks, Rebecca! See the original review here.
Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry
Title of Book: Case Study: With
Author: Jennifer Kronovet
Publisher: above/ground press
Date of Publication: 2015
Page Count: 24

“I was hit hard by the light so bright it burned
And all at once I knew she’d understand . . . “
- from Boy Inside the Man by Tom Cochrane

Case Study: With by Jennifer Kronovet is a brilliant turn on narrative discourse poetry. Poet Kronovet is published extensively in journals, including Aufgabe, Bomb, Review, Fence, Boston Review amongst others. She translates poetry and has taught at Washington University, Missouri; Columbia University and Beijing Normal University. She is also the Co-Editor of CIRCUMFERENCE: The Journal of Poetry in Translation and has published a book of poetry, Awayward (BOA Eitions, 2009).

This poetry exists in the realm of magic. The narrative poetry is enigmatic, with a certain Zen of understanding that weaves the esoteric with reality. The poetry is centered around “the boy”, as if the Poet is raising a young male child and this is her experience of her son from her view inside the world of culture.

“With the Boy, with Myself

He has thoughts he doesn’t think about. Birds might wake him, but they don’t. My thoughts feel like speech – how one animal makes nature – until I speak to him. We use words like a tree uses light: there is a process we don’t see but do.

A kid I don’t know hits another I don’t know. I say stop stop to myself. Speech will keep happening against me. The boy will wake to cry.”

“What the Boy Who Wants to See His Heart

He says the moon comes with us when we drive at night. He says in front of the trees behind the trees in front of the trees behind the trees. He says I have eyes. He says goodbye fish. He says the moon comes with us. The heart is a rumor inside your heart. He says a rumor is a man wearing a mask.”

The feminine mystique of wholeness and creationist mythologies are celebrated. At the essence, this poetry captures the grace of a lost world, a world of magic. The child is the catalyst for the magic of new beginnings, a life being introduced to the “machine.” As if all the hopes and dreams of possibility collide with the Poet’s understandings of the world.

“With the Boy, Inside the Museum

A painting of horses charging in a war. The war is subtle but the horses aren’t. Nouns, for the boy, live in the sounds nouns make. We don’t hear the horses, but the boy makes us. Our war is silent as horseflesh armoring distance. The boy’s future war makes a sound. We imitate that sound by accident.”

Case Study: With, is also protest poetry, perhaps a reflection of the violence of the N.A. war economy. “The fence that became incorporated into the bark. It’s resilient as I bash it against the stones. It fits us to the rules that rule what can fit as we rule them.” And, “The why that addresses me makes me live in because, a place where every answer has an equal but opposite error.”

Ms. Kronovet is a gifted Poet, with a new, forthcoming narrative style, a progression from the Postmodernist School. Such a brilliant poetry read for a Summer afternoon, Case Study: With by Jennifer Kronovet.

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