Thursday, August 24, 2006



20/20 yielding by Sunnylyn Thibodeaux
(Blue Press, 2005)

20/20 yielding is a poetic distillation of sorts, which concurrently balances a strangely lyric and non-lyrical poem as it struggles toward an ensuing clarity in the dissection of the daily and mundane. For the record, the “I” is never safe in this poem, and the poet seems not only aware of this but playfully chides the reader on toward what seeing might actually take place when extrication of self is no longer possible or necessary. Whether it be in reference to her initial (drunken) fluency in French--as are we ever truly fluent when we first experience the joy and possibility of a second language when drunk--or, merely brilliant in the impulse, foresight or lack of self-censure in way of this beautiful thing called yielding. The speaker turns out to be one of her most closely honed specimens:

a ruby grapefruit
is starting to mold
in the basket

               yo la tengo
               there’s a fine background

forgive it
a wall of incompetence

sky blue sequins
are the great adornment
of your name-brand
               hand bag
               there are six
new sun spots on each
shoulder & one awkward
shape on the cheek
               I don’t know how
to talk about them
without curiosity

did you notice
               I ate the grapefruit

20/20 yielding is at once a poetics of displacement and memory often fused playfully in a mimetic turnstile of thought and reflection. And as the “I” is precarious, this poem seems to visit the theme of a love, lost and the onward movement of self toward a possible extrication, and hopeful healing, which gives a deeper overall feeling to the mood, current and purpose here in light of all of the possible trappings of ego when observed on a magnified level, or at least certainly has the markings of an interesting, if not great, romantic hero.

                              remind me again
why you left me here
drinking alone -- misdirected
power trying to woo
you west


Susana Gardner lives in Switzerland, where she writes and also edits, an online poetics journal. She is also pleased to announce, the first bookbook of Dusie, Cornstarch Figurine, by Elizabeth Treadwell, Dusie Press, 2006.


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