25 Points: Gamine

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Gamine
by Emily Sipiora
forthcoming from Pink Finger Press, 2014

1. This book often has a cut-up and and collage kind of feel and sometimes reminds me of Jean Luc Godard’s ‘Pierrot le Fou’ in a way that I can’t fully explain.

2. I don’t really like rhyme or half-rhyme and some of this is rhymed and half-rhymed but somehow it manages to avoid that cloying feeling that rhyme and half-rhyme gives to too much poetry. This is an achievement because most who attempt this don’t manage to accomplish it so well.

3. She’s also doing something with meter, I think, which is brave if so (I haven’t scanned it properly obviously – partly cos scanning is so subjective and party because I didn’t want to).  I gave up meter myself, I didn’t like how it mangled my syntax, same with rhyme and the need for a lot of what more traditional poetry bods call masculine endings (stressed syllables at the end of a line). Maybe this type of stuff is due a return. I don’t know. Emily pulls it off pretty well, though.

4. Elliott Smith is a welcome presence in anything that I experience and he pops up here. Sometimes directly quoted and  sometimes in bit like ‘Mr Amiability’ (although while I was writing this my girlfriend was asking me to put the HDMI on the TV and it made me think how Elliott Smith could’ve even sung HDMI and made it sound amazingly melancholic.  I know the writer likes him and I think he’s a good person to like which is contrary to the way in which a British tabloid recently managed to somehow implicate him from way beyond the grave in the death of British celebrity Peaches Geldolf. After seeing his legacy trotted out in such ridiculously absurdist tabloid terms, it’s nice to have him back and rehabilitated into something real and artistic and appropriate.

5. Ian Curtis pops up now. He joins Elliott Smith. There’s a theme here.

6. “Anyone up at 3am was either in love or lonely” is a great line.

7. “I live in your voicemail now” another great line.

8. There are a lot of great lines here.

9. This author is pretty young, like 17 or 18 or something, I think. This isn’t her first book which is pretty impressive in itself. I was going to say she’s ‘pretty mature for her age’ until I realised it made me sound like an old ageing aunt or something. Maybe this is how it is these days but if she’s getting this kind of thing out there now already, what can we expect in years to come? I’m looking forward to it, whatever it is. All you other Alt-Lit writers, you’re getting old, man! (That was a joke mostly on myself, to be fair).

10. There’s stuff in here that is kind of cut-up image macros of Wikipedia. I read somewhere that someone ‘advised’ Emily to stop putting photos in her books because it makes it seem more like a blog. I think she should put whatever she likes in and perhaps this person maybe hasn’t been looking to closely at the alternative literary scene of the past 5-8 years.

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