That Was Before Numbers

Rae Armantrout - "Next Life" (0'39"). Armantrout's vocal attack is as jagged and darting as Berssenbrugge's is hushed and tranquil. Her vowels scale into the jangling upper frequencies, while her consonants are sharply articulated and sometimes throaty. The short first audia terminates in an emphatically-voiced conjunction, setting the measure for the twenty-four to follow. The poem segments, semantically and syntactically, after the fifth, fourteenth, fifteenth, and twenty-second audias, with the meta-statement ("that was before numbers") serving as a sliver-like hinge at the midpoint. It seems obvious to love the lines "Don't be a commodity / be a concept," but I do. And the brilliantly-handled diminuendo of the closing syllables too.

More Armantrout on PennSound, including her 10 May 2006 reading for Charles Bernstein's Close Listening program on WPS1. Her author page at EPC. Ron Silliman's remarks on her Belladonna chapbook "Fetch."

Monday -- 22 May 2006 -- permalink

The Lipstick of Noise is a product of the Third Factory • Inspired by the music blogs • And by Paul Blackburn's reel-to-reel deck. Intending to make good use of PENNSound and other sources of digital audio files of poetry • Comments welcomeXML.