by Sheila E. Murphy. 2000. 36 pages. Potes & Poets Press, Inc., 181 Edgemont Avenue, Elmwood, CT. 06110-1005. $10.00.
Book Review by Michael Basinski
Releasing poetry from the burden of the pious personal seriousness and giving words back to makers and creators of poems, Sheila E. Murphy’s three part poems roller coaster roasters about from the highest of eight story buildings straight down in free fall fireball FreeCell feral drop through the ground as if it did not exist and into the hot bowels of mother earth. The poems are full of the twisties and turners that only warping, twisting, modeling and shaping syntax can create. Truly these poems are a dissonant poetry. And it forces you to read another way other than in time, in narrative, in a straight line. In this dream, meaning imaginative state, like rising from the wine-dark sea are these pearl roses, “Whose wit along horizons shapes the sentences as they were always scapular.” -or- “Try to vague you out of what you do not know.” These are the gem germs that can only come forward and appear after the practice of really breaking all the rules governing the art of poetry are broken. Sheila Murphy takes the lion of poetry and with whip and chair boots it around so that the poem appears to arrive with all the intensity and beastliness of an otherworld (otherWORD) creature that can only be labeled imaginative beauty.