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Beyond the Chainlink

Overview


Poetry. Morrison writes: "Beyond the chainlink, a city is the union between two lovers, never taking place." In this latest collection, her eye is attuned to the ways language both obscures and exposes the seemingly lucid illusions of intimate attraction. How to recognize the past's specters as they beckon and frighten, haunt and call, from just outside the "chainlink" of one's schoolyard expectations of self and other? Though Morrison may assert how impossible it is to escape the constructed frame of past ...
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Overview


Poetry. Morrison writes: "Beyond the chainlink, a city is the union between two lovers, never taking place." In this latest collection, her eye is attuned to the ways language both obscures and exposes the seemingly lucid illusions of intimate attraction. How to recognize the past's specters as they beckon and frighten, haunt and call, from just outside the "chainlink" of one's schoolyard expectations of self and other? Though Morrison may assert how impossible it is to escape the constructed frame of past experience, her gift for nuance makes each achingly exposed limitation permeable to our attention. She reports, "Impulse says a little hurt is worth the long, thin fracturing you can use as horizon."
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 02/03/2014
Vividly serious and adroitly terse, this fifth collection from poet and publisher Morrison (After Urgency) steers a sharp course between the free play of figurative language and the demands of insistent memory. With several poems entitled “Backward rowing,” several epigraphs from Danish poet Inger Christensen, and intriguing “formulations” (her term) that resemble Continental philosophy (“In a dialogic creation of meaning, everything/ must be eaten up”), Morrison’s syntactically isolated couplets, and her almost teasing impressions, can test a reader’s perception. Her unusual layout (some couplets right justified and others left justified) appears to ask whether we can put in the connections she leaves out. Yet these sets of pagelong poems turn out to pursue the same subjects, the same feelings, as those that more direct, even confessional, styles are often used for: romances approached and dissolved, the passage of days and seasons and the power of the outdoors, the ways that the human body fits and does not fit into its own desires. “Literal as the cat asleep on the bed,” the Northern California–based writer finds herself “in the home/ I’ve buried in retellings”; later she turns a memory into a powerful come-on, declaring, “My new sundress is neither the solution nor the absurdity// but in the afterlife, I want to remember your hands/ helping me unbutton its buttons.” (Feb.)
Library Journal
04/15/2014
As these eloquent, perfectly faceted poems attest, life is at heart our burningly patient negotiation with the everyday. We're followed by "dangerous ideas," risk the "little hurt" of impulse, attempt to construct meaning (even in the backyard), and always, always desire ("This wanting, a pocket mirror I'll rub/ until the silver backing rubs off." James Laughlin Award winner Morrison delivers poetry that feels affirmative, radiant, and lived.—BH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934103463
  • Publisher: Ahsahta Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2014
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Rusty Morrison is the author of BEYOND THE CHAINLINK (Ahsahta Press, 2014), THE TRUE KEEPS CALM BIDING ITS STORY (2008), which won the 2007 Ahsahta Press Sawtooth Poetry Prize, the Academy of American Poet's James Laughlin Award, the Northern California Book Award, and the DiCastagnola Award from Poetry Society of America, as well as three other books. AFTER URGENCY (2012) won the Tupelo Press Dorset Prize; BOOK OF THE GIVEN (2011) is available from Noemi Press; and WHETHERING (Center for Literary Publishing, 2004) won the Colorado Prize for Poetry. She has received the Bogin, Hemley, Winner, and DiCastagnola Awards from PSA. Her poems and/or essays have appeared or will appear in A Pubic Space, American Poetry Review, Aufgabe, Boston Review, Gulf Coast, Kenyon Review, Lana Turner, Pleiades, Spoon River, The Volta's Evening Will Come, VOLT and elsewhere. Her poems have been anthologized in the Norton Postmodern American Poetry 2nd Edition, The Arcadia Project: Postmodern Pastoral, Beauty is a Verb, and The Sonnets: Translating and Rewriting Shakespeare and elsewhere. She has been co-publisher of Omnidawn since 2001.
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