Wednesday, October 30, 2019


somewhere in me
a so-called
original urge
to align
with the astral
    but then
i see
all planetary
to life eternal
among the galaxies
    home to u-turns
cultural autopsies
and finite
of this social
    but baby
if not
then really
should i be? (“glow stick”)

I’m struck by the rhythms displayed throughout Brooklyn-based poet and photographer Ivanna Baranova’s full-length poetry debut, CONFIRMATION BIAS (Montreal QC: Metatron Press, 2019), a compelling, measured and meditative series of threads that unspool with such delightful cadence. “you always / want to be / the fucking foucault / of public spaces,” she writes, in the poem “neon,” adding: “not here [.]” Set in five numbered sections, her poems read like lyric monologues, stretched and stretched out, held together by cadence, accumulation and the constant questioning of where and what one should be. She writes as witness, critic and relentless seeker, exploring power structures, capitalism and environmental collapse, moving seamlessly from abstract to the specific, and attempting as much the appropriate questions as she is the possibility of answers. “how can i // ask you // to max me // out in a way // that’s edgy?” she writes, to open the poem “aloe,” continuing, further on: “i lose // and make the money // spend the money // become // the money // all so // you’ll keep me // in your pocket [.]” I very much like the ways in which her meditations and narratives wander, drift and flow, enjoying the momentum but still curious to see where it all might lead. The poems here are deceptively powerful, wonderfully understated and confident in their curiosity and their poise.

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