Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Kristy Bowen's Brief History of Girl as Match

I've been both enjoying all the chapbooks that came my way through the Summer 2007 Dusie Kollectiv project--a good percentage of them are by people I've never heard of. That's not saying much, perhaps. It's taken me a while to recover from moving to North County San Diego. But now that I'm done staring at the beach with a perplexed expression, thinking, "what is this doing three blocks from where I live and what do I do with it?" I've been trying to pay closer attention to the poetry worlds "out there." Or, at the very least, to all the cool stuff I get in the mail.

I love participating in the Dusie Kollectiv, but much of the time I feel like I don't really understand what that means. I can't quite describe the social or aesthetic parameters at work. My generally happy bewilderment with Dusie is, I think, indicative of my bewilderment with all the various poetry communities I am and am not a part of. When I left the East coast for this strange corner of the West coast, my connection to the poetry world flattened and spread out in all directions. I have, in part, the internet and my relative geographic isolation to thank for that.

Anyway, this post is supposed to be about Kristy Bowen's Summer 2007 Dusie Kollectiv chapbook, Brief History of Girl as Match. I really like this book. The poems have an awareness of gender that doesn't make assumptions, and often they link personal experience to form. They're often funny but not trite. The first stanza from "language theory" is indicative of much of what I like about this chapbook:
You say nice and I hear knives.
We take precautions:
A taxi, a pregnancy test.
I am mistaken for a shovel.
A calla lily in my ruined dress.
A brunette. A barn fire.
Kristy Bowen edits an online poetry zine called Wicked Alice, as well as Dancing Girl Press, whose catalog is full of chapbooks all by women I've never heard of, which is fabulous--I'm looking forward to reading them.

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