Rebecca West kick, and some poetry

In the last week or so I’ve read a lot of novels by Rebecca West. I tried to read her nonfiction about Mexico but couldn’t stomach her archness. Maybe later. But I loved The Birds Fall Down, and The Saga of the Century, enjoyed bits of Return of the Soldier (seeing the promise of Saga of the Century in it, thought it made me angry) and The Judge. There must be good biographies of Rebecca West, surely!? Her work ought to keep me going through the holidays, or lead me somewhere else just as good.

rebecca west

This morning I read a little zine or booklet from my poetry shelves called New Work by Corrina Bain. It might have come from a zine library, or from the poet if we met at a reading, or from the free box at a bookstore like the excellent poetry bookstore near Harvard with the steps and the very kind lady who brought out some boxes from the back of beautiful old “chapbooks” (a word I loathe because it sounds like chapstick, greasy and cheap, and trivializing) The poems are a little prosy for my taste (like a memoir told in verses) And there are some poems of the style of bald statements pounding one after the other to form a sort of holograph. Bain has a good sense of line breaks, so that even when I am protesting internally about the prose bits (which most people like and which speak well at poetry slams; it is only me who bridles at them…) I see her mastery of art and am pleased. The stories are of gender(queerness) and the City; the densest one is called “Uterine”. I would read more!

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