2/19/09

claire donato


i got claire donato's new chapbook SOMEONE ELSE'S BODY in the mail today from cannibal books. i didn't know where cannibal was located so at first i didn't think it was her book, but then i was really excited when i opened it. i like how the book is designed. it's simple but 'high-quality' and seems 'durable' or something in a strange way. like i could maybe pour water on it and it would be okay.

i felt very good reading the poems in this chapbook. they're beautiful and everything in them was surprising and new in different ways. this is maybe my 'favorite' poetry chapbook that i have read. i don't feel like i've read poems like this before because even though they are the kinds of poems i'm used to reading by poets that i like, they are more 'visually aware' maybe, they seem more technical, i think, and 'more like professional poems' or something. some of the poems are like this but some are just broken into paragraphs almost. the book feels 'diverse' in this sense but the content is consistently good and nice, i think.

the first poem opens like this:

The walls are tearing / out of their paint. My legs / are crossed. I am not / listening to the TV / in the other room. I am not / listenting to television. The window next / to the television is / turning away. The window is / open.

it felt good how much this seemed like something matthew savoca would write about. i think that i kept thinking 'matthew savoca' as i was reading this. it was a nice thing to be thinking. matthew savoca, i think you would like this book.

another part of the first poem is:

I am never afraid / to layer my breath over yours-- / and when I ask you to plot your anger on a line, I am referring to fear, how / it is linear: see how mine moves / upward in a diagonal line? / See how it moves up to choose? / Why are you lying in a heap on the floor?

i really like these parts and the way i like them is the same way i like the rest of the book. SOMEONE ELSE'S BODY is only six dollars from cannibal. i think there are still copies to buy. claire donato is a nice poet. i am looking forward to reading more things by her.

there are sample poems here and a related awp video here.