28 July 2011

Frances Kruk

I don't know a ton about Frances Kruk besides that she's British (well, Polish-Canadian living in London, according to wikipedia) and she sometimes edits books with Sean Bonney under the yt communication imprint, and I guess I must have seen her read in Buffalo back in '07 during the British Invasion at the Adam Mickiewicz Polish Library, when Damn the Caesars and P-Queue and Pilot brought a gaggle of Brits to the states for a short tour. I don't remember getting super excited about anything I heard that night, but when her new chapbook Down You Go or Negation de Bruit arrived in the mail, my curiosity got the better of me; sure, I love everything Rich Owens does at Punch Press, really everything, so I knew I'd read it with relish, but it was the tag "apres Danielle Collobert" in small print that piqued my interest.

Before Leslie Scalapino passed last year, she prioritized a reprint of Norma Cole's brilliant translation of Collobert's It Then (a testament, I think, to the value of this particular book). As such, it's available again at SPD if you missed it the first time (along with Norma's translation of Collobert's notebooks, published by Litmus). I'm interested to learn whether Collobert's writing factored into Down You Go as source material (something about the abundance of capital letters in mid-line-caesurae suggests it did), though I'm reading these short stanzas (for now!) as reading notes, or maybe fragments of attempted translations.

They're visceral, SUPER FAST, and turbulent, and the energy holds throughout, no question. Here are a few:


we will bang
into the sun Blinded



Looking through the mirror there's that inner circle
the hands, heads, faces
frozen & even when the air moves Crystal
flakes they look ready. Ready.


The final duct & its shards of condensation
ringing Metal My chest
judder I
want the aerofoils for this last

wait, Exile! I have no
eyes, I feel no

I'm hoping to get in touch with Kruk to chat a bit about her process, but in the meantime, pick up a copy at Punch Press before they're all gone so we can read it and talk about it together! Owens is selling these beautifully produced pamphlets for only 5 bucks, so making the purchase is a pretty sound investment! More soon...

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