It’s surprising, uncanny work that is utterly distinct in voice and vision.
I do not claim to understand it, exactly, but I love it beyond reason, and I urge you, Toasties, to pursue it.
Much of Carson’s work might be described as fan-fiction of the classics (though I suppose that is also true of much of Western literature).
Her “TV Men” poems imagine mythic heroes and canonical authors as the stars of their own tv shows.
I can’t tell you how much this poem means to me, and how many times I’ve come back to it when my life has thrown me into madness.
If you’ve read Leslie Jamison’s book , this is the poem around which she structures some of the life-changingly great essay “Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain.” When the speaker recounts the moment that Law broke up with her (“Not enough spin on it, / he said of our five years of love”), she takes all her clothes off and has sex with him.
But that’s what’s so vital about it, to this contemporary reader: she’s not simply concerned with tracking how things I have cast my net rather wide and have mingled evidence from different periods of time and different forms of cultural expression–in a way that reviewers of my work like to dismiss as ethnographic naïveté.
I think there is a place for naïveté in ethnography, at the very least as an irritant., the monster he must defeat. Rather than slaying Geryon, Herakles uses him up: he has a love affair with him and then leaves him.
By that I don’t mean that she writes graphically about sex (though she does) or that she makes art that is unseemly and difficult (though she does that too).
What I really mean is that she works on the edges of what’s acceptable, in every book and genre in which she participates.