Dream-Clung, Gone by Lauren Russell

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 Dream-Clung, Gone
by Lauren Russell

Pub Date: February 15, 2012
28 pages
ISBN: 9781936767120

$8

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Lauren Russell casts a sharp eye on the urban landscape around her, carving profiles and cutting out silhouettes from real experience. The strongest influences on her are the people she deals with directly—lovers, roommates, oglers from the subway, fellow patients, pets. “The lover, as artifact, is constant as long as the jewelry remains broken,” she writes, dismantling her attachments to fluster assertions of overarching facts. Russell favors a singing absence, where each detail is a transitional truth, and each word a temporary home. “It may be known that she allowed a dismantling.”

Edmund Berrigan

Lauren Russell’s poems remind us what authenticity might mean and be. They are full of “the possibilities of grief” and “insubordinate frizzle.” Simultaneously raw and crafted, these poems bubble and boil with life.

Joanna Fuhrman

Review from Tidings of Magpies
Review from the Conium Review
Review from decomP
Review from Boog City

Lauren Russell is the author of one previous chapbook, The Empty-Handed Messenger (Goodbye Better, 2009). Her poems and reviews have appeared in various places, including Eleven Eleven, The Poetry Project Newsletter, Harp & Altar, Lyre Lyre, Boog City, The Recluse, and Van Gogh’s Ear. She is an M.F.A. student at the University of Pittsburgh and counts the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, AmeriCorps*NCCC, and Goddard College among her alma maters.

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DREAM-CLUNG, GONE

Undertow of dive bar juke unboxed
Driving past a rust-red door unjambed
Coin-operated groove side-shimmies, unflung
A seamlessly upholstered stool’s unwound

Once I fell in love with an Absence. It outgrew the apartment and wouldn’t take off its clothes. After we moved it turned taut and slinky, hid in shadows or slid provocatively beneath my coat. Three winters now and the Absence is restless. It’s blown across the river, arrives late when it meets me for beer. The Absence is singing:

This is the song of a dawned dance
This is the dance of a dusk-drawn song
This is the fall of a moaned trance
This is the clang of a dream-clung gong

 

 

UNPACKING

“Categorizing can become a spiritual practice,”
I explained to the potential roommate who remarked
on the verbosity of my moving box labels:
Lit Journals & Anthologies P-Z,
Reference inclu. cookbooks & misc. papers,
Wall Decorations: Pictures, Broadsides, Hangings, etc.

“Eventually,” I said, “You find something that cannot
be categorized, that you don’t know how to pack or unpack,
and then you’ve reached the uncertainty of enlightenment.”
In which box, I wonder, did I put the bottle of long-expired
disinfectant, held onto for years because a dead man
once used it to clean a cut on the sole of his foot:
Photos, Childhood Diaries & Sentimental Stuff
or Misc. Bathroom, inclu. pills?