Monday, April 09, 2012

Sorting Through The Ingredients

on the eve of the release of her second collection of poems.


Like I Said We Are

Like I said We Are A Competitive
Love and just like that: motion.

The mise en place walks into
a bar, orders a drink and sweet-like

lies down in the grass.
Phone calls are made and one

is to his mother. She is a nice person and
she deserves everything, everything.

Plans are made and some people learn to
not shake hands on promises. Hear me,

because I am one of them. I am going
to have a party and it will be a

terrific party—the keg stands
having keg stands of their own. I will

throw it all away. There is a cancer
in indecision. There are ways of causing

ruin to a person over and over again.
Orange juice is orange juice is just

orange juice but the goddamn Floridians
keep putting it in different bottles

and I am late for brunch. The
mise en place dislikes brunch and

the people who eat it. And I am moving.
Soon the Apartment will rent a truck

and drive from one state to the other.
Everything Will Be the Same,

says the mise en place. You Will Be the
Same Person in Your Little Apartment, Just in

Another Apartment. I don’t know
how he knows this but the he must

believe in me. He goes to a movie. The
theatre is empty and he eats chocolate.

Surprisingly, there are no crumbs. The
mise en place says that the best part of

New York City is getting to take
your pants off at the end of the day

and I believe him. I believe that he gets hot
in all that polyester.

- Amanda Nadelberg

from Octopus Magazine


even Chris Fischbach's one-paragraph introduction (from the link above) cannot quite place the word "encounter" as he attempts to usher in readers to Nadelberg's four-poem suite. his own excitement is intriguing, and as one tries to pin down the rhetorical recipe behind the meanderings in Nadelberg's poetry, he or she does not feel imposed upon: certainly not by the prevalent humor nor the startling juxtapositions.

in the poem above, the paradox of singularity and multiplicity in the speaker becomes its own integrity. there's a sense of some earned heavy-handedness in her treatment of the persona and in the rapid shifts in the strophes, a profound fulfillment sating the reader. we get to relish the turns and the nips in the line-cuts, at times reminiscent of Dean Young's recklessness and psychedelia. turnips, anyone?


Amanda Nadelberg is the author of Isa the Truck Named Isadore, winner of the 2005 Slope Editions Book Prize, and Bright Brave Phenomena, coming out this month from Coffee House Press, as well as a chapbook, Building Castles in Spain, Getting Married, published by The Song Cave in 2009. Her poems have appeared in Conduit, jubilat, No: a journal of the arts, The Cultural Society, Vanitas, and elsewhere. A recipient of grants from the Fund for Poetry and the Iowa Arts Council, she is a graduate of Carleton College and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was awarded a Truman Capote Fellowship and a Teaching-Writing Fellowship. Raised in Newton, Massachusetts, she has lived in Minneapolis and Iowa City.