Saturday, December 10, 2016



A’s Visuality by Anne Gorrick
(BlazeVOX Books, Buffalo, N.Y., 2015)

Anne Gorrick’s, A’s Visuality, is a complex and interesting collection of poetry. To begin, the book is divided into three sections. The first section describes how narrative works on a visual level. The poetry is about the artist and art, and about the process of writing through imagery and description of art and the life of the artist simultaneously; the second part contains the language of visual art in a somewhat textual narrative form, and the third section, actually contains her visual art, with text included in the art.
Gorrick describes many small canvases in which she shows the reader a larger canvas of art. She uses the process of narrative and repetition in a non-linear way to create an idea that first begins as a feeling and then surfaces into a sense of understanding, and finally it is the body that ultimately understands through that sensory experience. The following segment is from Folio #4, found in the first section of the book:
                        Fragments / of / Houston S treet
                        his comments / were / experimental
                        even / the flagstones / almost / fainted
                        big paintings / punctuate/ the body
                        figurative / a passing car / literalness / recoils from memory
                        (page 16)
What exactly is being said is unclear; however, Gorrick’s choice of words convey a certain experimental playfulness, that enables the reader to experience the poem.  For example, when she writes “big paintings / punctuate /the body”, the verb “punctuate” opens up the possibility of what that means or what it possibly could mean. 
Gorrick is adept at piling words upon each other and creating visual imagery.  Her use of language is dense with possibilities and is both consistently lush and filled with subtle meaning. These next three lines are from the second section, entitled “Chromatic Sweep: Love Poems to R&F Oilsticks and Encaustics:”
                        A significantly prolonged white ground
                        The luminosity of a low voice filled with pale emeralds
                        Softer gloss like indigo
                        (page 63)
She gives us shimmering images in these poetic descriptions. She is creating art as she has written poetry. This is a book that is worth reading if you savor the challenge of reading a book that is both visual and intellectual, and its lushness is recreated as you read the text. One of the most interesting ideas in this book is “illustrating” how the brain interprets (or feels) language and creates visual images. Because many poets are also visual artists, this book should be of interest to them.


Mary Kasimor has most recently been published in Big Bridge, Arsenic Lobster, Nerve Lantern, Posit, 3 AM, Touch the DonkeyYew Journal and The Missing Slate. Her two latest books are The LandfillDancers (BlazeVox Books 2014) and Saint Pink (Moria Books 2015).

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