David McLean reviews Marie Lecrivain's Misericordes
published by Off World Publications
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As with her Nihilistic Foibles, this new offering from noted LA poet Marie Lecrivain combines prose poetry and standard poetry in a heady mix where Wicca rubs shoulders with formica bar tops and depth runs into superficiality and vice versa.
Comfort this night
is nothing more than a yen
for body heat.
You'll get more honesty
and a sense of absolution
from the fisherman's hook
than you will from me.
It's an intense world where tenderness and compassion over the death of an unknown dog in one poem is on the same level as a bored S&M erotic sensuality in the next.
I am bored. Even the sight of striped and recently disciplined flesh fails to arouse my senses. I find more enjoyment in the bottom of my cocktail glass and in the growing fuzziness of my vision. The room tilts and swirls as I swallow the last of my drink.
In one of my favorites a cypress tree, twisted and dark but defiantly unforgiven and alive is called upon to symbolize the beauty of our dark twisted struggle to the light, the obstinacy of life. Absurd but persistent as trees always are.
Another favorite concerns bisexual experimentation, but could deal with any passing encounter:
quietly introduces itself
river of neon stimuli
and I'm compelled
by a need
to give into
the honest impulse
I leave quickly,
in my solitude.
Marie can paint very ornate and beautiful poems with a rich and complex vocabulary, but she can also express a desperation and vertigo in the face of the void: The void is clear in these poems behind the often very beautiful tapestry of words. Especially in "hieros 4":
I thought I'd almost escaped... but the dream came anyway; a long, recurring nightmare of moving forward through time into a dark, starless void, where no one and nothing existed; no people, no countries, no secrets. I found myself on the edge of a precipice that dropped into a massive black vortex of annihilation, and I, with little success, expended much of myself trying to wish my way back. In a panic, I briefly awakened but I found my head sinking into the pillow, and then my soul accelerated like Major Tom on a dying trajectory back to the origin of all who had died and then were burned to ash.
A very beautiful one, which I remember she wrote when we wrote some things in response to each other once -- is called "... to the urban seraph under an off-ramp of the 10 freeway"
It's a lovely tribute to a young man whose story I don't know.
I think that Misericordes will not disappoint anyone. Something for all of us: perverts, dreamers, believers, unbelievers, lovers of nature and lovers of the void behind it. Buy it, is all.
review by David McLean
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