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The Sense Record and Other Poems Paperback – April 30, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Moxley's 1996 debut Imagination Verses remains an inspiring document; it was the first book to try to reconcile the more unassimilated strands modernism (the writings of Oppen and Stein, for example) and their later pomo incarnations with the lyric diction of the Romantics, without ignoring any of the political commitments that diction was designed to carry. The Sense Record may have less of an immediate impact, but only because Moxley has moved beyond her prankish, even punkish demeanor to create a grander, more difficult persona that can take in everything from Coleridgean spiritual buffetings, fierce social invective, polymorphic sexuality and telling class marks like "fifty-fifty sheets." The propulsive rhythm, quick cut imagery, involuted syntax and emotional ferocity of "A Transom Over Death's Door" force the issue of how completely the reader and writer of poetry should become absorbed in its synaesthetic surround, even as it offers no guarantees of remaking the world: "My hands are shivering, I miss the writing, I know what it has and has Not given me, here where drawn-out lives grow longer in false desires Disturbing envy and multifarious revelations of bright recycled hope." Among shorter apostrophes and lyrics are two longer poems, the six-part Wordsworthian title poem and "Impervious to Starlight," which track the stealthy insinuations of power into even the most intimate relationships, culling difficult prospects for openness and a renewed sense of agency from the experience of private, unwitnessed resistance: "Edged around the craved epiphany to this day there lives a secret pleasure, unequaled by revelation, irredeemable, the thought of `otherwise' that rents dissatisfaction from out its crippled cave, pounds a fear throughout the ears and packages a thousand meaningless acts into one grand raison d'etre: your life." In its determined insistence on a political, but no less refined, poetic urgency, this is one act that will be hard to follow.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Jennifer is a poet, essayist, teacher and translator. Her most recent books are The Line, The Middle Room and Often Capital. She is the poetry editor for The Baffler and a contributing editor of The Poker. She teaches at the University of Maine.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 78 pages
  • Publisher: Edge Books (April 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890311138
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890311131
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,000,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alan DeNiro on October 18, 2002
I picked up The Sense Record with great interest, after enjoying the exploration into poetic gestures in her previous book, Imagination Verses. The Sense Record reads as a decided continuation of the poems in Imagination Verses (which, at times, had a feeling of being too much "mask" and not enough "face" if that makes sense), as well as a quantum leap "forward" in vividness, and strength of line. I put "forward" in quotation marks because so much of Moxley's entire body of work is a playful critique of the entire avant-guardist notion of forward progress in the arts in the first place. Not in a conservative manner, of course, but rather in the way that a poem can create its own relationship to a reader by evoking, but not being limited to, a poetic tradition of gesture and utterance. Which is, in a big way, utterly subversive. Poems in The Sense Record that SEEM lyrical have a core to them that refuses a lyrical bent at all. For Moxley, words (esp. "heightened" and "poetic" words) are garments for the mind, to be tried on, with favorites chosen--but who wears the same thing every day? But in the way that clothing, though it hides, reveals the wearer, this book manages, in its anti-revelations, to create relevatory spaces in these poems. And when this occurs--frequently--in this book, the results are breathtaking.
The Sense Record is incredible, in the literal use of that word. It stretched the credulity of poetic form itself in order to arrive at the most unexpected emotional resonances. A signal book of poetry for the first decade of the 21st century.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Darder on May 11, 2005
Sappy but aware of the complications of sap, Moxley has Moxy.
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The Sense Record and Other Poems
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