Catherine Daly reviews Antidotes for an Alibi

Amy King Antidotes for an Alibi BlazeVox Books ISBN 0-9759227-5-0 2005

These poems read to me like poetry versions of flash fiction. Now, I like flash fiction very much, but I like the more fabulistic kind. Amy King is writing the fabulistic kind of flash fiction -- I want to say, "the good kind" -- in poetry. What does this mean? Well, when lineated, the line breaks in the poems point to the jumps in the narrative. When not, the poems still take the same little leaps that poems take. I guess I'm struggling with the new sentence this morning. I am not seeing "torsion" as I understand it, nor am I looking for it -- I am just saying that these poems have little leaps in them that flash fiction of a similar type does not. For example, this poem, "Evening In," is a story of screening a particular kind of call:

Evening In

Mother phoned the premature death of father to me. A machine shuffled her words. I played back the story of my childhood and grieved.

Now, I would probably end the stanza here, or title it something different. In any case, the evening in begins with a message in a machine. I would think flash fiction might use "the machine" and not jump so quickly to "story of my childhood."

After dinner, blocks of toddler teak wood fell, then floated, mistaken for cork. Household acts boiled over Aunt Max's black pot rim where we succumbed to the likelihood of work. We were all enchanted when the little kettle dripped and wrote proverbs to complete our pact with amazing accents. Dessert hints wafted past raised cups of homeground coffee, whiskey-tinted, under the blue haze of living room light.

In this second part of the poem, the progression is chronological. After dinner, some french press coffee and dessert. I don't think "household acts" and "dessert hints" would be in flash fiction. They are too mysterious. Interestingly, the references to fables and fiction continue, in "enchanted," "writing," "proverbs," "pact, " and "accents." The line break after "dripped" makes it unclear whether the kettle (presumably whistling) is writing or that "we" who are enchanted are writing. But overall, a little story of a poem, which is recognisably a poem, not fiction.

In the next-previous prose poem, "Land into Sea," the jumps are between sentences -- I don't see each sentence doing as much heavy lifting as in a poem, and I see bigger jumps between the sentences. I also see bigger jumps -- associative ones -- than in fabulistic flash fiction. It has the logic of some poems where the themes are established, play together a while, and then reach a conclusion. We start with a relatively concrete example, a fabulistic but also realistic fear:

On the car-hugging road, I am shocked that one day I fall asleep and the stray dog could die.

Not the road is hugging the car, not the car the road (as car commercials would have -- did you know most city car commercials are filmed in downtown LA?). In any case, car, road, sleep, dog, death. Very clean and neat. Then, out of the shrubbery at the side of the road -- a crowd.

These orders of truth awaken self defense, so urge the crowd, "Betray yourselves." Every fugitive deserves retreat at depths the bathysphere can't reach.

Who is the fugitive? The narrator? The dog. The dog and the narrator. The narrator is more likely to fall asleep and die than fall asleep and kill a dog. I.e., life is fugitive. So you see, by figuring out the difference between the first sentnce and the second sentence, you've got poetry, because flash fiction tends to spell this sort of stuff out, not point all sorts of different directions. But, note, this is sentences which are addressing different people and having different characters, not necessarily "torque-ing" as I understand it.

Since lame-o short reviews usually mention the title, I'll say -- I like this title and the way is points to the flash fiction in poetry theme. For what is an alibi, but a very specific sort of potentially verifiable narrative. And what is an antidote to that, but the fabulistic.

http://cadaly.blog spot.com/2004/12/because-i-have-two-reviews-due-and.html

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

DAWN.com

Efforts are being made to remove Faiz's poetry of resistance from our memory: Prof Ravish Nadeem
DAWN.com
Faiz Ahmed Faiz has been made a commodity and is being sold as a product against whom he fought through his poetry and practical struggle, said writer and poet Prof Ravish Nadeem at an event held in memory of Faiz at the Pakistan Academy of Letters ...


thenews.pl

Polish poetry on Budapest metro
thenews.pl
The Poems on the metro project in Budapest runs until December 20. The Polish Book Institute, which is the main organiser of the initiative, says on its website that the choice of Herbert is natural at a time when Poland celebrates the centenary of its ...


New York Times

Poetry on a Budget
New York Times
Kyle Page, the architect who founded Sundial Studios, in Brooklyn, designed a weekend house for his family in Phillipsport, N.Y. Much of the building is clad in weathering steel, and the windows become larger the closer they get to the nearby pond.


coloradoboulevard.net

Poetry Corner: Problem Solving Peacefully
coloradoboulevard.net
Nicholas David Klacsanzky, a fine musician, poet, and teacher of meditation, lives in the Ukraine. He says “the main tool we have to resolve problems peacefully is to see the illusions that they are. Commonly, our worries, obstacles, and arguments are ...


Sojourners

When Church Language Fails Us, We Resist With Poetry
Sojourners
Note: A version of this essay was given as a talk at Women Doing Theology 2018, at the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary on November 9, 2018 in Elkhart, Ind. As a poet, I used to compartmentalize my poetry. Christian poetry, poetry of the body ...


CU Columbia Spectator

Quarto's chapbook event hosts a propelling performance of poetry
CU Columbia Spectator
Quarto Magazine, a student-run literary magazine, performed the works of the top three chapbook contest contributors at their annual chapbook event last Friday, Nov. 16, in Dodge 501. The poetry of the contest's first-place winner, Mya Alexice, BC '20, ...


Inside Higher Ed

Why It Matters That More Americans Read Poetry Now
Inside Higher Ed
In September, the National Endowment for the Arts published surprising new data: poetry reading in the United States has almost doubled over five years. A 2012 NEA survey had found that only 7 percent of Americans had read poetry in the previous year, ...


Egypttoday

Ahmad Negm Colloquial Poetry Award winner to be announced Dec.3
Egypttoday
It is worth noting that Ahmed Fouad Negm Award for Colloquial Poetry was launched in 2014. The award's board of trustees include: former Minister of Culture Imad Abu Ghazi, poet Ibrahim Daoud, Mohammed al-A'dl, director Magdy Ahmed Ali and engineer ...


Smithsonian

How Poetry Soothed a Nation in Mourning for John F. Kennedy
Smithsonian
In the wake of Kennedy's death, many newspapers published poetry tied to that weekend. Subsequently, editors Erwin A. Glikes and Paul Schwaber solicited poems about the assassination. Those works, along with some written during Kennedy's presidency, ...


Lifesite (blog)

A little-known side of Karl Marx: his poetry… and his diabolism
Lifesite (blog)
November 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Karl Marx, father of Communism, was born 200 years ago (as of this past May 5). Between 1835 and 1843, that is to say, between the ages of 17 and 25, he wrote a great deal of lyric poetry and humorous doggerel, which ...

Google News

Mechanical Poetry

Do you ever stare at the paper, waiting for poetic... Read More

A Happiness Poem

If a happiness poem could bring forth a smile, Then... Read More

Poetry ?Reborn? Emerges In Thriller Mystery Novel

Since Mohamed Ali?then Cassius Clay?announced that he had written "The... Read More

Im Sorry Mom! A Mothers Day Poem

Mother's Day Poetry,I'm Sorry Mom!I'm sorry for the troubles ... Read More

My Grannio

I never thought I would have to say GOODBYE to... Read More

Poetry in a Nutshell

Poetry is more than just rhyming and prose that is... Read More

Testimony to the Night [In English and Spanish]

In the quiet of the arctic night- In its deep... Read More

Opposites Do Attract Quite Well

When I am climbing up, you are stepping down. When... Read More

Three Poems [Lima; Judges and Evils Creation]

1.Evil's CreationThou knowith evil clings To tender peace-; Nor does... Read More

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: A Discussion of How Do I Love Thee?

"How Do I Love Thee?" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning was... Read More

Tsunami Day

A Poem - By Lorraine KemberIt was a day like... Read More

For My Mother

I cannot bear to think of when you will be... Read More

Satirical Poetry About Tony Blair

All Hail.Is your hospital full of aliens, despite new cleaning... Read More

Tale of the: Old Hunter and the Golden Hare [In SPANISH and English now]

There once lived an old man and his goodwife On... Read More

Superman

So many looked to you for inspiration,Unlikely hero for the... Read More

Three Sweet Poems, and Two Not So Sweet [now in: SPANISH and English]

1) End PoemWherever you are today- Is where you were... Read More

The Gaul of La Laguna de Paca

Part OneI tell you a legend of long ago Of... Read More

The Art of Receiving Poetic Critique

You can show your poem to your mom, your spouse,... Read More

Here And There

My eyes opened. I am still alive; Living on... Read More

Uamaks Aquatic [suspense: now in Spanish and English]

Delicately, my mind was selecting a muffled tune, out of... Read More

Storm Rising along the Lima Coast

Storm Rising along the Lima Coast [Summer of 2002]?wind was... Read More

Three Poems: Phantom of the Rocks; Lady from Lima & Bell Ringer of de Copan

Phantom of the Rocks[Huancayo, Peru]Night falls deepUpon the traveler!Low, over... Read More

The Time Has Come and Buzzing

Most of my poems are written late at night, often,... Read More

Robert Burns Love Poem: A Red, Red Rose

Robert Burns, a poor man, an educated man, and a... Read More

Man Unbowed [A poem]

Man UnbowedUnbowed by sin, the world of man, stands Upon... Read More