||Robin F. Brox
Like the images in this thoughtful debut, Brox's poems chart our attraction to surfaces, textures, and weathers with a calm hand intent on recording the "tenderest ambivalences" of our desires and senses.
There is a kind of abstraction, based not on reductive form, nor on self-expressive mark making but on the endless variation of form, colour and shifting scale in the natural world. In this vigorous, detailed and abstracted poetry the most traditional matter: season, climate, weather, plants, is specified as human bodies move and make their lives in post-industrial landscapes that nature has recolonized. Focused on physical changes in state and their environmental and metabolic outcomes, these serial poems and binary arrays have a fierce grip on the complexity of our experience.
These poems are wordplay, but simultaneously, mature work beyond the "I" of youth, poems of body and eye. They are sensual, full of weather, color and texture, images tangible as weather and rope. Brox binds up the known with the unrecognized, makes new things.
"no ideas/ but in things pulled close . . ." thus articulates Robin Brox, "over burdock wildly," the poetics of this stunning collection. Playful, "glass-sharp in the shadows," Brox's devotions transmit affection and repulsion through the surfaces of a place lived raw and tenderly noted. These are vital poems for difficult weather, language roughed and unexpectedly straight to the heart, lit with the uncanny light of attention both heavenly and subterranean, born when we "love what/ seems barren." A brave, exquisite and necessary book.
Robin Brox pushes at the “membranes between worlds” in her Sure Thing, worlds cluttered with “experience’s self made / detritus.” Time, though, is Brox’s true world, her muse and her medium. She agitate and plays with it, accelerates, extenuates, and records it “rippling open,” always weaving back to January, always beginning. Sure Thing is unblinkingly situated in a cold climate, one that “attacks but we regenerate.” Robin Brox’s honest and powerful poetry witnesses attack and ensures regeneration.
— Sherry Robbins
Robin F. Brox was born in 1978. Sure Thing is her first full-length book of poems; it contains references to Alice Notley, the NHL, Rainer Maria Rilke, television’s The Simpsons, the Bay of Fundy, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Emily Dickinson, Coogan’s Bluff, Walt Whitman, & others. A poet & teaching artist, she is the founder of Saucebox, a small press & occasional performance series devoted to women artists. She has degrees from SUNY–Buffalo & The University of Maine–Orono. Brox’s poems have been or will be published in Foursquare, Stolen Island Review, name, Artvoice, Hemlock, Nickel City Nights, drill, The Buffalo News, & others; chapbooks include Who’s That Girl (1999), Word/Body (2000, includes color reproduction of paintings by the author), Saucebox: an anthology of women writers (2003), ache (2003), Tinsel Strength (2005), ’s words (2008), & “When In Doubt, Cowboy Out,” a section of the long poem A. Concoct Key Gush Run, is available from Binge Press (2011). She may be reached at email@example.com.
· Paperback: 102 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· ISBN: 978-1-60964-017-0
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