Books

New Version 4-1 plain back grn type

We Lack in Equipment & Control

poems by Jennifer H. Fortin

(H_NGM_N Books, 2013)  $12.00

Jennifer H. Fortin is the Walt Whitman of the month of February, the curator of apartment environments, the weatherman of goodbyes, a dewy-eyed automaton, the impresario controlling the hunger artist and the hunger artist herself, Bernadette Mayer’s daughter watching out of an eye corner as her mother writes Midwinter Day, the miracle body rescued from three days in a snowdrift, still, alive, still alive. She gives us poems of scraps and details and lets us make something—big and vital—from her materials. When I read these poems I feel as if I am accumulating “not data but a song.”

-Darcie Dennigan

-John Dermot Woods

Mined Muzzle Velocity

poems by Jennifer H. Fortin

(Lowbrow Press, 2011)  $12.00

 

 

These missives from the great state of Flux reveal a relentless thinking-machine, one that has “travelled to a new emotional lodge” and sent back seemingly quotidian observations and queries that accrue before we know it into something arresting, amorphous, and wild. Like prayer, Fortin’s side of the story is intimate, cosmic, beseeching, and often beautifully unhinged. Reader, be a Dear; be one of the story’s other sides.

-Mark Bibbins

The tragic, charming, funny, sadness of these poems is how they insist upon, resist, throw themselves on the mercy of, hope for, a companion. The various modes of address in the beginnings of the poems reflect how a person who craves intimacy, but is very unsure of getting it, approaches another. In this way they represent metonymically the condition of poetry in the world. Also these poems are suffused with the terrible pain of interminable time passing: they always sign off hopefully with the weird ambivalent “Yrs.,” which after a while starts to look to me as much like an abbreviation for “Years” as “Yours.” The language is clear and direct, but also skips like a favorite record: “Dear,/This made me think of you./ Don’t know how much longer I’ll be here// how much more I can take. A person told/ me I had eaten plenty holiday & I breathed,/ how much? The amount one can want/ fails to account for me. Know what I mean?” I do.

-Matthew Zapruder

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  1. InDefinite Podcast: Jennifer H. Fortin – InDigest Magazine

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