Hardcover. Solid Objects (2014).
Lisa Jarnot writes the meter of everything in A Princess Magic Presto Spell. As she does this, she reminds us what matters. In case you don’t know, it is the small animals and the plum trees and the mothers of friends and the moon and her dreams. This book is funny and yet also is an elegy. I read it. And then I read it several more times because I didn't want it to end. It is that lovely.
Whether one considers it “a hypoepic nodule of occult origin” or perhaps an elegy to a “sprawling metropolis,” in which the joys of life are best epitomized by the statement “I’m happy like this I don’t wear underwear I love pizza,” it’s difficult to pin down the motives behind this deceptively slim collection from Jarnot (Joie de Vivre: Selected Poems 1992–2012). In three long-form poems that zip from word to word, Jarnot’s eye flits across a range of surreally juxtaposed images, even managing to include “an idiot in a cat suit” and “lactose intolerant neanderthals.” Here, each linguistic element is a toy block to be manipulated and disjointed phrases are arranged together in a collage to offer readers a vibrant, earnest, and open-ended experience. Adjective-noun combinations, such as “offending purple snow suit” and “oaxacan space dog,” are the norm, summoning the childlike enthusiasm and pleasure derived from recontextualizing words and their possible combinations. Emilie Clark’s gorgeous watercolors, mostly from her series My Garden Pets, are interspersed among the poems, which adds to the collage aesthetic. The paintings’ colorful, dreamlike renderings of the natural world strive to be similarly all-encompassing in their subject matter and, paired with Jarnot’s poems, offer a “midsummer cacophony of peaches, hydrangeas, and bees.” (June)
Source: Publisher's Weekly
About the Author
Lisa Jarnot is the author of five full-length books of poetry including Joie de Vivre: Selected Poems 1992-2012 (City Lights, 2013). Her Robert Duncan: The Ambassador from Venus was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award in 2012. She lives in Jackson Heights, Queens, with her husband and daughter.