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Antidotes for an Alibi Paperback – December 2, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: BlazeVOX Books; First Edition edition (December 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0975922750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0975922750
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,892,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marcus D. Slease on February 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
Just finished reading Antidotes for an Alibi by Amy King. Lots of surprising twists and turns that often reminded me of Tomaz Salamun. Some of these twists take an antidotal form. Here are just a few of my favourites:

"No Murderer knows what's being prevented / at the end of a bandage at the end of a knife / at the end of blood and egg" ("Southern Folklore)

"Next door, all the president's men / play guess the tail on the donkey / with all the king's men, which / sums redundancy since an ass / is inadvertently an ass" ("Conspiracy Theory")

"I sip from tin coffee cups / the flavor of her past mouth." (Homage to the Ballad")

"outsourcing is a very cocktail / piano." ("Stay at Home")

"I ate the apples and grapes of the woman / who heroically overcame her hero status." ("Love in the Afternoon")

"The anatomy of anatomy is destiny. / We oblique points of tenderness." (Cloud to Shroud")

"Camus must meet his Kafka" ("Editing Booth")

and my absolute favourite line of the whole book:

"We honor you now by filling / your stance with holiday cookie." ("Disappearing Spouse")

I found this collection much more engaging than the typical young poet quirkyness (whatever generation of NY school). There is untamed desperation laced (as in poison). An updated existentialist angst. Language recognized as language. The problems of the personal lyric are not merely repeated as a pledge to what might be called the post-language school of poetics, but rather the lyric is wrestled with and worked through (but not worked out). I am really fascinated by the meetings of lyric and textual poetics. I am not as fascinated by the rejection of textual poetics in favor of the emotive lyric.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Daly on February 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
Amy King

Antidotes for an Alibi

BlazeVox Books

ISBN 0-9759227-5-0

2005

These poems read to me like poetry versions of flash fiction. Now, I like flash fiction very much, but I like the more fabulistic kind. Amy King is writing the fabulistic kind of flash fiction -- I want to say, "the good kind" -- in poetry. What does this mean? Well, when lineated, the line breaks in the poems point to the jumps in the narrative. When not, the poems still take the same little leaps that poems take. I guess I'm struggling with the new sentence this morning. I am not seeing "torsion" as I understand it, nor am I looking for it -- I am just saying that these poems have little leaps in them that flash fiction of a similar type does not. For example, this poem, "Evening In," is a story of screening a particular kind of call:

Evening In

Mother phoned the premature death

of father to me. A machine shuffled

her words. I played back the story

of my childhood and grieved.

Now, I would probably end the stanza here, or title it something different. In any case, the evening in begins with a message in a machine. I would think flash fiction might use "the machine" and not jump so quickly to "story of my childhood."

After

dinner, blocks of toddler teak wood

fell, then floated, mistaken for cork.

Household acts boiled over Aunt Max's

black pot rim where we succumbed

to the likelihood of work. We were all

enchanted when the little kettle dripped

and wrote proverbs to complete our pact

with amazing accents.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Julie Dill on February 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
With the last lines of the final poem in _Antidotes for an Alibi_, the speaker says, "I go forever fragile over paper/ because I know mâché prison rocks/ will make a miraculous bluebird someday." Those lines stick, and I will always picture this speaker walking about with reams of paper trailing behind her as she records life as she sees it, to hold the world accountable to her point of view. The playfulness in the language conjures images of a girl in a Catholic school uniform waiting in line at a tanning salon. The "word addict" in these poems seems to overdose a couple times, but something always resuscitates her.

So many books of poetry fail to keep the interest of the reader because of the lack of personality in the pages, but Amy King has managed to infuse her life into her poems without the uncomfortable invasiveness of the confessionals.

Don't just read this book because it's nominated for a Lambda Book Award. Read this book to experience Amy King's uncanny ability to maintain a sense of infinite wonder while simultaneously seeming ancient and jaded. "I confess/ to shaking like a lost dog at the feel of nothing at/ all against my skin, that this creamy absence could/ pass on into pauses forever, ones atheists hesitate/ but pray for nonetheless."
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