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Natural History Rape Museum
     

Natural History Rape Museum

by Danielle Pafunda
 
The fifth poetry collection by Danielle Pafunda, Natural History Rape Musuem centers around an unnamed speaker and her intimate/adversary, the fuckwad, in pieces interrupted (or violated) by their boxed-in titles. Further interrupting this narrative are a prose sequence and a menagerie of objects/animals/elements borne as totems by the speaker-a lump of coal, a

Overview

The fifth poetry collection by Danielle Pafunda, Natural History Rape Musuem centers around an unnamed speaker and her intimate/adversary, the fuckwad, in pieces interrupted (or violated) by their boxed-in titles. Further interrupting this narrative are a prose sequence and a menagerie of objects/animals/elements borne as totems by the speaker-a lump of coal, a stingray, a cord of wood, a wolf spider, an earthworm, the fly. The volume culminates in four linked essays on the subject of pain: The Bid for Pain, The Manner in Which Pain Becomes Me, Pain Beak-Pecks a Figurine, and Extraterrestrial Painsake.

Exploring the more grotesque branches of the Gurlesque aesthetic, in Natural History Rape Museum Pafunda ventriloquizes through the unstable identities of her characters to create creepy tableaux that resemble-despite their vivid, violent excesses-the world we know.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/24/2014
Disturbing, refreshing, at times disgusting, this fifth outing from Pafunda (Manhater) does not stop with shock value; readers alert to daring extremes and experiments should gravitate to its prose poems and fragments, its takes on rough sex, its impersonations of animals (“Horse,” “Fly,” Stingray”), and (most of all) its attention to women’s bodies as sites of creation and destruction, sexual pleasure and its opposite, miscarriage and birth. Sometimes the poet imagines herself dismembered: “Out my hands, my legs splay out, organs, heart.” Sometimes she becomes a mythic force (like the crocodile in Peter Pan: “The womb, a tick tock, a shrapnel-bearing croc”) or a vivisected ghost: “Permanent prenatal nimbus,/ whack-skulled and coreless.” A bad guy gets called “history’s cockroach,” “dreg bug, coyly/ sluicing the grotto” in a kiss-off poem that also announces, “In the wake of most revolutions, a pug will yet be attached to your teat.” Halfway between prankish word salad and radical feminist protest, Pafunda’s language also lands her halfway between two much-noted schools of 21st-century poetry, Flarf and the Gurlesque. If Pafunda’s similarity to her peers helps her poems make sense, it leaves plenty of ways for her to stand out; thin strands of narrative (a kiss-off, a break-up) run through the volume, while its most resonant phrases (“Hammer-ended kissy face, I chap your coffin and bag/ your tootsies”) belong not just to the theater of cruelty but to the old tradition of insult poetry, by which invective combines with invention to let the offended speaker come out on top. (Mar.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780982658758
Publisher:
Bloof Books
Publication date:
12/04/2013
Pages:
80
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.19(d)

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