Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Speaking of great reviews: Ultramegaprairieland

We tweeted and facebooked this one, but haven't yet posted it here.

Carrie Lorig's got the goods on Elisabeth Workman's superhawt post-Flarfy debut, Ultramegaprairieland, at Entropy Magazine:

I am such a sponge fisherman. I have so much pores. When you speak to me, I suck it in. It drifts around the insides of me like a box of jewels (Joe Brainard dreamed repeatedly of boxes of jewels and considered it a good omen). When you read around me / When you read a good part out loud / When you leave books around for me to pick up, I will suck it in. It drifts around the insides of me like a floralabundant hurricane / like a dangerous potentiality / like burning / like big petals of thunder the bees suck on. There has been so much Bernadette Mayer in the house lately. My pores are covered in all her dreams / her incredible, synesthetic relationship to sex and color. I’m reading Mayer’s Utopia and re -/ re- / re-reading Elisabeth Workman’s book, Ultramegaprairieland. I’ve been thinking about them so much together. 1) Because closeness, intuition, recommendation, and reading are most often how I work through / acquire a stack of literature / language. I tend to trust these things more than genres, schools, canon, etc. 2) Workman once gifted me a copy of Midwinter Day by Mayer. It took me over a year to read the book / realize what I had in my possession. What’s amazing now, being so accidentally and purposely immersed in Mayer, while simultaneously being so connected to Workman, is seeing how MUCH more naturally they overlap than I ever anticipated or understood. And isn’t this actually the most vivid thing about literature and language? / It’s re-configuring of time and distance in terms of how people need / find each other?
The titles, Utopia and Ultramegaprairieland, too, crack bootskins together. Both create flickering surfaces jokingly / seriously meant to be other names for Paradise. Both books, in their frothy, meaty layers, think intensely about what it means for a woman to speculate and imagine such an area / any area. It occurs to me that any writer / any woman writing any area / such an area / Paradise / ends up thinking a great deal about what / in the current space / is trying to kill them / or her. Thinking about Paradise means Touching Hell / Bouquets on Fire / means seeing how you, / like Paradise, / are unproven. / How you are imagining yourself / in reality / because reality doesn’t really / imagine you / at all.
“Year after year the toil
and the coitus. This would be
the real story told to earth people
in a voice more trusted
than the situation warranted.
What then? Maybe Malibu.
Maybe Beowulf.”
—“Maybe Malibu, Maybe Beowulf

Read the full piece (an event in itself!) here. Entropy also put Ultramegaprairieland on their Ultimate Summer Reading List.

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