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(Chap)Book Notes: Janaka Stucky’s Your Name Is The Only Freedom

After reading for the GRE Lit test the past several months, I came to this, the first chapbook I’ve read in a long time, with my brain violated by all the Victorianism–shell-shocked–& still digesting some  shifts in my “personal life” (some crappy, some better (living here)).

In the halo of fire surrounding an encounter with a destroying goddess/beloved, Your Name… is erotic, esoteric, and makes the frightful what we should desire–exactly what I needed to read.

Some of the best lines here take gestures that might seem absurdly gothic–

In the dark there is only darkness and

And push forward, unblinkingly–

The darker things dark clings to

–imploding our initial resistance to it through sheer excess.

Sample poems here. Beautifully printed too.

The kind of short line making, couplet use, and the correlating rhythms seems related (cousins maybe?) to what Schomburg is doing in Scary, No Scary. It seems deceptively simple. I’m looking forward to more.

That’s all. I’d hate to ruin my enjoyment and maybe yours by saying any more.

Filed under: Book Notes

About the Author

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Joe Hall is a writer, educator, and deprofessionalized academic. Black Ocean Press published his most recent book, Someone's Utopia, in 2018. His second book, The Container Store Vols. I & II (SpringGun Press 2012) was written with Chad Hardy. He has published journal articles working the intersections of poetics, empire, and the commons.

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