Wednesday, June 06, 2018

so vivid think / so decent cruel.

At last I've taken Lisa Samuels' Anti M  (Chax Press, 2013) off the bookshelf and am having a proper look.

Basically, I'm reading it, in so far as I'm reading all the words in sequence and am now on page 58. This is a hasty matter, though; I'm just rushing through the words; I'm not "reading for meaning" (as we TEFL folks say) because it's so evidently withheld.

Here's a randomly-chosen sample, from the third section, "Florida":


                                                          In the gulf                    it was warm and pleasant

                                               California, the big, cold


                                                sliding on the asphalt every capturing forces work.

Large as central rupture slows down

the blurring fondly we supported

that whole year, very strongly

                           we         contained
               "two               stray and talk / Wise, idle"

                                    The Everglades, from                      the Nazarenes.

                                                                                                       The last minute

                                              on at least one occasion.

The denominational buffer chart impressed me

one could live an entire

switch and still be

truly paradox.

          You could hold off               illumination

                                                       until your body was no longer



So, yes, the text looks a lot like "omitted prose" (so described on the jacket). The words on the page, that is, could mostly be imagined as remnants in situ of an originally complete discursive piece with conventional grammar and punctuation. Bits of adjacent syntax appear to be connected to each other like  relics of an argument ("one could live ...and still be ... You could hold off .... until your body ...").

Maybe Lisa actually wrote the discursive prose text herself, then excised 85% of it?

It's what we're meant to imagine, or at least dally with imagining, but as an explanation it won't do. There are too many disjunctive strings that can't be extracts of discursive prose: "sliding on the asphalt every capturing forces work", for example.
And there's certain other features of the text (for instance, the inverted commas are always paired) that contradict the idea of remnant, and propose instead that this, this and nothing else is the text, this is the statement.

The inset photos and titles and dedication all support the text's regular suggestion of a personal memoir of childhood and beyond.

Here's some thoughts about Anti M that I've found on-line:

Paula Green:

Sally Evans:


The Church of the Nazarenes, evangelical Christian denomination.

"The Florida District is comprised of over 135 Churches of the Nazarene in central and northern Florida."




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