Vancouver's Kim Minkus "seeks shores where the blue really begins" in thresh, a magnificently challenging repository of prose poems and lyrical bites so dense and condensed that readers will find themselves wholly entranced by the jagged jigsaw sexuality and ragged sensuality. Her utterly original voice is unlike any other in poetry, exemplified in this brief riff of a passage from Station :
women cluster tears. illiterate and arid. their sadness reflects. they know what lust is. necrotrophic alliances breed. my heart has a hole for them. hot bed self reflexive self scatter self sullen. seven thistles breach and tangle in crown. my pupils are dark with love. come here my love. there is a burning in my chest. my fingers need kisses.
Thresh, clearly influenced by our sharpest "language poets" - Nicole Brossard, Dennis Cooley, Daphne Marlatt - is described by its publisher as "a sensual linguistic trip through the daily violence of affluence. Voyeuristic and punishing, the language in this collection addresses the unlikely mechanistic rumblings of the sex-doll factory floor; the progress of the Stations of the Cross; and the intricacies and polarities of female purification."
It definitely offers readers much to admire in its distinctively deft and deliberate lexical inversions, not to mention its slyly erotic supra-textual subversions. This is a solid and satisfying follow-up to the relative new-comer's critically acclaimed 2007 debut, 9 Freight.
Award-winning poet, cultural critic, literary journalist and Globe contributing reviewer Judith Fitzgerald's 30th work, Rogue Lightning, will appear later this year. She also covers poetry for The Globe and Mail's Books blog, In Other Words.