Thursday, December 3, 2009

Baltimore City Paper Review of Bread Alone

The following is an excerpt of Brett McCabe of the Baltimore City Paper's review of Kim Jensen's latest Bread Alone. Kim will be part of a panel on women and war at the Split This Rock poetry festival in March. The full text of the review can be found here. You can hear Kim read from the book this Saturday, Dec. 5 at the Enoch Pratt Library @ 2 pm.

Roland Park Branch
5108 Roland Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21210

The result of this wide-angle focus is a bunker mentality of survival, an attitude of hard-earned daily victories over the malignant forces that feel to have infected many parts of daily life. It's an approach that opens Jensen's poetry up to her subtle shifts and poignant intimations. "The Feast of Sacrifice" begins with the image of Hussein's body swinging from a noose, but concludes in the passive public collusion in the spectacle of heinous acts, where "from the number of hits and visits/ --that people are eager to hear/about all sorts/of disasters." "I still believe/ in the power of words" starts "Rock Bottom," the sort of familiar opening salvo in a screed that might envision poetry's power to change the world, but Jensen twists that expectation by suggesting that it's not her words that are wielding the power: "Isn't it punishment enough/ to endure/ this wreckage of a human/ story?"

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