Monday, June 7, 2010

Ball of Poetry

Angela Ball's Night Clerk at the Hotel of Both Worlds, winner of the 2006 Donald Hall Prize in Poetry, while driven by strangeness, is easily navigable by anyone willing to travel with her down the road to absurdity (as I did once as her student at the University of Southern Mississippi & I think we hit a deer).

“So fragrant am I that bees/Follow me day and night,” she writes in “Someday I’ll Take Again My Lightning Drive Through Love,” in which troubled dreams about food & Home Shopping Club gadgeteer, Ron Popeil, transform into a trip into the country past “fruit stands and roadhouses” which, in turn, become “Accidental ballrooms” in the sleeper’s mind.

If Ron Popeil can’t sell the book, what can I possibly do? Perhaps I could mention Ball serves such literary bigwigs as Shelley, Lord Byron, Apollonaire & Borges in delicious slices the whole family will enjoy, as well as poems about fences, dogs, power steering, high rises, inadequacy, divorce & spring, each with her characteristic comic aplomb, perfect for holidays & special events.

Were I to offer a criticism, I'd say line breaks often seem flat--that's phlat for the hipster in you. If you have a hipster in you, it may be the sign of a more serious condition. Please see a doctor immediately. I'm not a doctor.

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