Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Sharon McCartney's Under The Abdominal Wall
This is fearless and direct. Though the subject matter -- family mortality -- is often harsh, even harrowing, readers who turn pages quickly in order to satisfy dramatic resolution may easily miss the subtle effects camouflaged in unadorned syntax, as in the delayed "together in a way we will//never be", from "Niagara, 1968". McCartney's sequencing gathers steam as one moves along Under The Abdominal Wall, and, in a number of moving poems as various as "Dying, My Mother" and "The Real Estate Market in Southern California", suggestion and curt phrasing etch assessments and moods more effectively than leaky, prosy explanations could ever hope to do with the same material.