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I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl: Poemsby Karyna Mcglynn
Synopses & Reviews
I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl is film noir set in verse, each poem a miniature crime scene with its own set of clues—frosted eye-shadow, a pistol under a horses eye, dripping window units, an aneurysm opening its lethal trap. In otherworldly vignettes, 1994 pairs the unreliable narration of Jacobs Ladder (with its questions of identity and shifting realities) with the microscopic compulsiveness of Einsteins Dreams. The books sense of hypnotic premeditation brings Donnie Darko to mind as well, as poem after poem scatters the breadcrumbs of a murder mystery leading us further away from the present self and deeper into the past. I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl is an astounding debut collection that will crawl under your skin and stay there.
"I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl is a remarkable book. It is innovative, original, unprecedented, and, at the same time, its originality and innovation are predicated on a passionate, even obsessive relationship with the past."—Lynn Emanuel
"Lurid, dominated by teen antiheroes, with plenty of underage sex amid a 21st-century Southern gothic atmosphere, McGlynn's debut is at its best vivid, disturbing and fun. Despite hints and feints, it has no consistent narrative; instead, it offers scenes, asides, interior monologues, fragments and portrayals of dangerous playmates and sexual awakenings: 'death & sex tickle the same damn spot,' McGlynn warns. One of her clearest and best poems of memory is called 'God, I Got Down There to Get Off': 'I'm flat on my belly, hand in my jeans — / and how to say every penny has become the eye/ of a dead relative watching me?' With her adults either inattentive or ill-intentioned, McGlynn's strongest pages remember how she looked up to adventurous peers: 'Erin with the Feathered Hair,' for example, who 'unpeels my northern pretense,/ leaves me quivering in a glitter tube-top/ as she unlocks the liquor cabinet.' Conscious of precursors in popular film, McGlynn may not always avoid clich. Yet her experiences crackle with life, and her best lines know when to stop, when to set out sexy facts and when to reach for verbal ornament, distinguishing her work from anything merely confessional." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl is a remarkable book. It is innovative, original, unprecedented, and, at the same time, its originality and innovation are predicated on a passionate, even obsessive relationship with the past.-Lynn Emanuel
Karyna McGlynn lives in Austin, Texas.
2008 Kathryn A. Morton Prizewinner, selected by Lynn Emanuel. Poetry with a Sonic Youth soundtrack.
About the Author
McGlynn earned her BA from Seattle University and holds an MFA from the University of Michigan. She is the author of two chapbooks: Scorpionica (New Michigan Press, 2007) and Alabama Steve (Destructible Heart Press, 2008). Her poems have appeared in Fence, Gulf Coast, Willow Springs, Indiana Review, Denver Quarterly, CutBank and Ninth Letter. She lives in Austin, Texas.
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