Friday, December 9, 2016



Amnesia of The Movement of Clouds & of Red and Black Verse by Maria Attanasio, Trans. by Carla Billitteri
(Litmus Press, Brooklyn, 2014)

Maria Attanasio is an author you should read. Her book Amnesia of The Movement of Clouds & of Red and Black Verse, which is translated by Carla Billitteri, is a book that Charles Bernstein describes as a “labyrinthine series of viscerally charged, haunted studies.” 

In the opening section entitled “Amnesia of The Movement of Clouds," she writes in the twentieth section, “… a murmur of diurnal light/ surprises him insomniac by the window./ The island unfastens itself from the horizon,/ departs against the current.” Ms. Attanasio acquaints sleep with the window—the windows of the insomniac’s eyes that sees the horizon? That has seen the same horizon over and over even when the insomniac closes his eyes? Just a murmur of light, a glimmer of horizon. Any more and the insomniac would be up for a few more days.
In another section entitled “First Movement of Death Bitch,” Ms. Attanasio writes in the poem, “Suddenly” (below is the entire poem).

   Suddenly, ah pain of the mind,
   As if the night were nothing
   Without safe-conducts ravenous.
   The hand trembles the house vacillates.

What is conducive to a poet’s mind and making it through the night? A poet thinks harder than most; most every writer does. The line, "As if the night were nothing" absolutely rings true. The mind is ravenous and the mind gets crowded with thoughts. This is a stunning poem that perhaps not everyone will get. But let me tell you this is a stellar book.

This is a damned fine book and I was very surprised that this is only Ms. Attanasio’s first full-length book in English.


Chris Mansel  is a writer, filmmaker, epileptic, musician, photographer and a permanent outsider for some reason. He is the author of While in Exile: The Savage Tale of Walter Seems, Soddoma: The Cantos of Ulysses, Ashes of Thoreau, Interviews and two books of photography entitled, No Burden and Ahisma. Along with Jake Berry, he formed the band Impermanence who released one album, Arito. He releases music under the name dilapidation Impromptu who have released four albums. His writing and reviews has been published on the web in many sources including The Experioddicist and Galatea Resurrects.

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