Obsessed as I am with elegy I felt I couldn’t compose a typical review of M X T, thus (respectfully) this.
MXT is so pink-existing, a shock of lurid hurting rendered bearable through the architectonics of an arrayed machinery of feeling. Initially, a resistance to the equipment and then, a yielding as diagrams set grief outside the self-mire, arrow & circumscribe
directionalities of chaos. Do we believe in this? Mostly, Dear One, I cling to the emotion caught in the lettered texts, the Dear Ones addressed, those pieces where when she says, “I don’t want a grid, I want arms” we nod assent, absolutely. Mary Oliver flits in; Diane Arbus; Lee Miller, those
painters “in blood” from the “darkest recesses” of their vaginas. As there is little intimate grip on this mourning, few anchors, faces & idioms vague, lost progenitors are contained in places, the ghost Vancouver of childhood, its Jericho Beach, its Aristocrat’s. The juxtaposition sharpens between the desire
for containable, describable processes and the obvious melange of detrital this n that: hashtags, Oil of Olay, Mike Harcourt, The Grateful Dead, cherry Kool-Aid. Any conclusion ineffable,
Dear One, is it
does one need to grieve and is it manifested by this whirl-world slammed by doors & doors of laws & circuit breakers or do such blueprints of utopian withholding give us rituals (of a colder sort) to enable our continuance?
“This endless loop of feeling what does it reveal?” Well at least, Dear One, an alternative to the drop-box stages of supposed grieving, the symbols and frame dimensions and magnetic fields but stone-attempts in a stream-reality of Coleridgean “water, water everywhere, my dead.”
the mourner shrinks a bit. Is it from protection, fear (if “thinking in public terrifies us” how about feeling?” ) or just because “Grief is too bright. Too head-on.” And thus subterfuge is crucial for survival, endurance. Of which tactics I count not only the machinery of elegiac dismantlements but also the arms lengths of certain end-frames for Plath or Pollock or the letter Q (the cento though is essential harvest….)
,strategies that can drain grieving of its salt, or else proffer a balance, a ballast to the keening of “Dear Regret….I am lost…I am hungry to keep you alive.” So very true. And perhaps the only line,
Dear One, any of us needs to write about grief.