Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Sum of Every Lost Ship - Allison Titus / Octopus 14

Octopus 14 is up:

This time, the play on 8 is that there are long poems from eight poets. Some poets I’ve been interested in lately are here, Amy King and Jeff Alessandrelli, as well as Several poets new to me.

Also, there’s a review of Allison Titus’s The Sum of Every Lost Ship, a book I've just finished reading this week. It’s a fascinating book, as it weaves through the dislocations of motels and identity (a long section on “Anastasia” or “Anna Anderson”) and letters and instructions. Read the review for more on these. What I found most interesting in the book is how Titus navigates though images that she removes from overt narrative, creating a still-life, enigmatic quality. Here’s an example of what I mean, as she navigates one idea of motel, the idea of VACANCY and dwelling, where one is conditioned by the idea of motel to consider the end of the world:


Except for the taciturn furniture, purposeful and beige and grieving.

The coffee pot is missing, but ice is free in buckets,
and the thin white sheets contain

our viscous longings ever so

From the second floor, the view of the parking lot
is lovely.

So it isn’t long before we quit our day jobs
and move in.

We sleep. We unlock
the door with a plastic key.

O evidence of blood

and eschatology: we choose
what soothes us.

I am already
black strands of hair

on the flat white

fingernail clippings in the sink.


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