Folding Ruler Star / Edition 1

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"With alarmed intelligence, FOLDING RULER STAR exposes the violence of an expectant look, synthesizes the organic and robotic then unzips them just as machines unzip / concrete dividers / on the highway. May Aaron Kunin make all the rules, and may our capacity for facial communication finally collapse within his tremendous Dionysian orderliness."
--Jacqueline Waters
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In 1986, Noam Chomsky published a book called Barriers, elaborating a theory of what kinds of grammatical elements can combine, what kinds can't and how it happens. Kunin's debut treats language in precisely that way, and also sees it as in a completely synecdochic relationship with its users: language's parts stand for our wholes and are every bit as mechanical, modelable, automatic, desirous, thwarted, blocked and explosive as people are when they try to approach one another. And there are major constraints here: the entire book is composed in five syllable lines comprising three-line stanzas; every poem is "mirrored by another poem with the same title," as Kunin notes in a preface. The dual-poem format, coupled with violent, sexualized content (deft but definitely disturbing) gives the impression of very fraught attachments indeed. The book is certainly about having feelings like shame, disgust and grief, but it is also about how they get produced and registered within a system that may be human in seat, but not in origin: it may be divine. To that end, there are references to Paradise Lost and to Renaissance body part love poetry (the senses here represented by "Five Security Zones"). This is beautiful, complicated poetry from a poet exploring "the device in the/ assumed direction/ of its mouth." (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780974090986
  • Publisher: Fence Magazine, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/25/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.23 (d)

Meet the Author

Aaron Kunin is the author of FOLDING RULER STAR (Fence, 2005), a collection of small poems about shame; THE MANDARIN (Fence, 2008), a novel; and THE SORE THROAT & OTHER POEMS (Fence Books, 2010). He lives in Los Angeles and is an assistant professor of negative anthropology at Pomona College.
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Table of Contents

The shame tree 2
False nativity 4
Under the lampshade 6
Hidden school entrance 8
Lost ambulances 10
Food syntax 12
The shame word 14
Grief act absent source 16
Smile when you look at 18
Access denied 20
Girl and reptile 22
Sexual shock 24
Zipdown day 26
Facesitting 28
Five security zones 30
/Local machine zone/ 39
Five security zones 40
The bloody revisions 48
Carte Du Tendre 50
Silence was pleased 52
Petting impersonal 54
Folding ruler star 56
Folded envelope 58
Enclosed please fine 60
/Preservation fantasy/ 62
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