How does one footnote vanishing? In Brushes with Kristina Marie Darling draws our attention to where love and light - their most delicate details - once were. In their place lie darkly gleaming, refracting essentialized remains. Shattered glass and devastated porcelain hands divine a poetics of the charnel grounds. Darling’s work reminds that after such vanishing, there is something: a gift, the book itself.
—Selah Saterstrom, author of The Meat and Spirit Plan
Some facts: there is "white residue" on a windowsill. In a novel on the brink of being written, someone walks out the door then reappears on the edge of a lake. To "recollect." To "glide." To "wake up." In a work that is reminiscent of Jenny Boully's The Body -- a blankness accompanied by footnotes -- Darling's Brushes with performs a narrative of sexual betrayal and peculiar [excruciating] loss with a delicate and pressing hand. In the appendix that closes the collection, the "interior of a burned house" is transposed with the figure of a sky filled with "dead stars." Is the heart a burial ground for domestic desires? Darling has written a work of caked trace in which the longing for a shared world is already a part of the counterfeit, damaged and "circling" past. Trace, in other words, does not function in the usual way. It is not light. It is not something you can look through, like holding an ice shard up to the sun. On the contrary, it is "unsightly." It is a dark weight in a little book that felt, at times, like an act of beautiful revenge.
—Bhanu Kapil, author of Humanimal
If Wolfgang Iser believed that within the gaps of a text lies meaning that the reader must create, then Darling’s collection Brushes With is the film negative composed of those gaps. Therein lies the creative energy and genius of Darling’s work. As we enter the text, we begin to construct a narrative from interstices of information that comes in the form of gemlike footnote poems. These footnotes are deliciously loaded and sensual—whispers from a friend who just can’t tell you the whole story. The footnotes provide the type of glimpse we get into any relationship—spotted, occasional, fragmented, flawed. Darling is a prolific writer (a word rarely applied to a poet so young), a writer who has a multitude of material and approaches to her intelligent vision of what poetry can also be. She surprises us and proves time and again to be the real thing. Darling is a writer to watch.
—Andrea Witzke Slot, author of To find a new beauty
In a manner that is near and dear to me, Kristina Marie Darling beautifully constructs a land of seeming quicksand where every loved thing disappears as quickly as it appears. Houses burn, stars extinguish, love diminishes, a dress can no longer be worn. In this metatextual affair, Kristina invites us to take her keys, her legend to her poetic map to unlock and chart absence alongside her.
—Jenny Boully, author of The Body: An Essay
Kristina Marie Darling is the author of ten previous books, which include Melancholia (An Essay) (Ravenna Press, 2012), Petrarchan (BlazeVOX Books, 2013), and (with Carol Guess) X Marks the Dress: A Registry (Gold Wake Press, forthcoming in 2014). Her work has been recognized with nominations for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, the San Francisco State University Poetry Center Book Award, and the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Book Award. Kristina’s books have also been reviewed widely in literary journals, which include The Colorado Review, Writers’ Digest, Bookslut, The American Literary Review, Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing, Rattle: Poetry for the 21st Century, Stride Magazine (U.K.), and The Hiram Poetry Review. Within the past few years, her writing has been honored with fellowships from the Corporation of Yaddo, the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Ragdale Foundation, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation. Kristina is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Poetics at SUNY-Buffalo, where she holds a Presidential Fellowship.
· Paperback: 54 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· ISBN: 978-1-60964-146-7
BRUSHES WITH by Kristina Marie Darling - Book Preview
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