review of Kate Greenstreet's Rushes (above/ground press, 2007)
by Noah Eli Gordon
Rain Taxi, Vol.12 No.3 Fall 2007
Within the lexicon of film production, the term rushes, also known as dailies, refers to the unedited footage shot on a previous day, which is screened for various crew and directorial members in order to assure that the audio and visuals are properly aligned, there are no mistakes of continuity, and the performance of the actors is accurate. The experience of viewing such contextually severed ghostly bits of narrative that nonetheless point to a larger whole is an apt analogy for that of reading Kate Greenstreet’s Rushes (above/ground press, $4). Porous, elusive, yet in their brevity and austerity oddly precise, these poems hauntingly point away from themselves to swell with the stuff of dramatic complexity. This enlargement often begins with a simple instruction (“Pull for a minute on a locked door.”), question, statement, or narration, which, unfettered from the certainties of speaker position or storyline, asks the reader not to fill in the gaps, but to build from the ground up any possible context. That these small poems undoubtedly suggest larger action, and that they do it with an engaging and ominous peculiarity--one in which the reader feels compelled, rather then pushed, to think and linger--is one of Greenstreet’s gifts as a poet. Because each page presents a line or two in a large font, followed by several inches of white space, and then a few lines in a much smaller font, the work falls somewhere between conceptual screenplay and lyric fragment.