CURIO, GROTESQUES AND SATIRES FROM THE ELECTRONIC AGE, Elizabeth Bachinsky (Toronto ON: BookThug, 2005)
read one book
interested in speaking.
The door slammed. Carpet footfalls
'But they mocked the word
-- from "UNDRESSED AND SO MANY PLACES TO GO" (p 14)
What impressed me first about Elizabeth Bachinsky's first trade collection of poetry (after appearances in magazines here and there, and the anthology Pissing Ice: Canada's New Poets that appeared with BookThug early in 2005), is the way she knows how to make a poem look good, and play with the shape of how a poem exists, even throughout her own collection. Not all poems are built equally, so neither should they be built to look the same. Bachinsky's poetry works from the basis of convention and twists, as in this poem, opening up the collection:
ON THE CONVENTION OF NARRATIVE IN LITERATURE
Think of sailing the round earth to arrive at your point of departure.
You arrive, but the landscape has changed so much you don't
recognize it. A deck-hand calls to you from dry dock, but he
speaks a language you don't understand. So much has changed
in the time you have been gone, you sail right past the harbour.
In doing so, you have neither the sensation of a beginning nor the
sensation of an end. You have a different sense altogether. A middle
sense. The water moves beneath your ship, and there you sail. (p 9)
"This is a story of resistance." she writes in one of the first poems, and the collection is built on the simplicity and straightforwardness of that statement, later writing "This moment when you know you are should stretch on forever." (p 39). A resistance to what occurs outside and both inside her own spaces, Bachinsky's poems reach out and grab their own terms.
A cold song isn't wet feet, if Pip
Sired gold I'd mine your tit thus: sew my bed
Of reverend, a favor -- ever for rend.
Whole dulcet limbs hook youth.
Ape, attend your tired sex.
You, young, took wind, feverish winter desire, bent trial
You even find he's not even foam. A
Foolish dream she never knew to bake or hug. So, my
Aged teen, you down your youth.
-- from "REST HER VACANT TIMER: IF WE LET HER" (p 63)