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Bad Badby Chelsey Minnis
Synopses & Reviews
Bad Bad moves the unabashedly juvenile persona elliptically constructed in Zirconia into a seriously amusing, un-blushing womanhood. The poems are equally clownish and fuck-offish, taking on with equivocal weightlessness the lexicons and trimmings of fashion, as it applies to the Self and the garments that clothe the Self, and self-obliteration, as experienced through immersion in the delights and disgust of the Other. "come on the revulsion//the revulsion//// when ////you bring it home////like seafoam//when you bring it home....," she writes, in an ecstasy of encounter. Minnis addresses the inner needs of the poet — "the purpose of poetry is to seem as lifelike as possible so that you actually exist" — and is everywhere concerned with the denotation of that which is true and necessary to the true and necessary poet. "it is a poem//which is a trough////where you can make your reputation////as a stiff///anyway, I am not trying to be human anymore//////I am trying to be smart....in the head....like a pissant......."
"'Juvenile mockery of poetry and the American poetry establishment, as well as excited reverence for both, are the themes of Minnis's second collection. Sixty-eight prose 'Prefaces' open the book, chastising career-minded poets ('You should not think of getting a job with your poetry.../ .../ Poetry careers are a bad business') while spelling out her own manifesto: 'I want to write a poem because I don't feel very boring!' In the middle are nine extended examples of the kind of lyric that filled Minnis's debut, Zirconia, in which dots, periods or ellipses sprawl across the page, interrupted by lyric outbursts: 'if you will promise....... to be a young girl.../ ......... I will give you a moustache.' Many, most even, may find these dots distracting or annoying, though it's interesting to ponder their meaning. The book closes with alternately compelling and silly prose and verse pieces, including an anti-rsum: '1996/ No car.// Apply for no teaching jobs. Don't publish book.' Petulant, clever, sometimes funny, sometimes irritatingly flippant, Minnis's poems will inspire questions as to whether this work qualifies as poetry at all, though some readers — fans of, say, Bill Knott, at his silliest — may find much to like. (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The poems are equally clownish and fuck-offish, taking on with equivocal weightlessness the lexicons and trimmings of fashion.
"Juvenile mockery of poetry and the American poetry establishment, as well as excited reverence for both, are the themes of [Chelsey] Minnis's second collection."—Publishers Weekly
"Decadent! Childish! . . . indulgent and melancholy . . . moments of extreme morbidity and anger."—Arielle Greenberg
"Her poems take some getting used to."—Robert Strong
"Many won't find her . . . acceptable at all...—Cole Swensen
About the Author
Chelsey Minnis is the author of Zirconia, winner of the 2001 Alberta Prize from Fence Books. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado and the Iowa Writers Workship, and a native of Littleton, Colorado. She currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.
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