Sunday, April 23, 2006

Mandatory New Reading

I've been waiting for a book like this to cross my path. Deborah Bernhardt's Echolalia is brilliant. Once I get myself together I'll post more extensive comments, but for now consider this book a must read.


steph said...

Can you post a poem?

Morgan Lucas Schuldt said...


Anonymous said...

this was on, but I'm sure our host will post one of his choosing...

by Deborah Bernhardt

The opposite of striking him.
It is gawky to say.
Speech, a loose tooth.

That I’m in love I can’t.
Wasps and wisps of words. My minutiae sentiments
could make your mind pruney. What if I fixate

on a M.O.M.A. Pollock, Echo, till drip lines
are dozens of shoelaces, tipped with lacquer and raging.
Daily strands: Me, too, I… or That reminds me of…

Angling. Gawky, really gawky with this is where I went and what I did.
When I am the conversationalist
the less patient fi xate on a point

by my voile head. Mental pushpins scrape me:
the bored post notes.
Wholly detached listeners cast documents

right over my face, cutting and pasting text.
I myself concentrate on a speaker’s lock of hair
just so I’m not waiting to chime.

As I was saying. When he held me, I was not a boring person.

Embarrassing, the need to peep, this saturation.
Forgive me. One I adore absorbs
my excess speech (her eyeglasses solar panels).

Another I adore fields my prattle
despite her burning focaccia. All my talking
and I forget to charge the cordless. One who is

my poet-cousin—whom I also adore, and
shortly I would like to say more about her—
fi nds humor in that juiceless telephone.

Through my answering machine, gleeful-sweet:
I feel helpless because I can’t hear you! Now I add
there is a gallantry to her poems.

I can’t not say: the particulars of his handholding.

From Echolalia Copyright © 2006 by Deborah Bernhardt. By permission of Four Way Books. All rights reserved.

Morgan Lucas Schuldt said...

Yes! See! Finally a poet with an ear! As soon as my copy arrives in the mail, I'll post another.

Anonymous said...

I anonymous #2 since there seems to be one or more of us out there. In my ignorant opinion, she has delicately woven her speaker's emotions and perceptions with these "day in the life of" scenes, all without underestimating her reader's ability to (excuse the cliche) "read between the lines." This is the only sample I could find online, so please do post more when it arrives. Or maybe I should be more proactive and buy a copy myself. There's a thought.

Morgan Lucas Schuldt said...

A colleague of mine had a copy of the book on his desk. That's what I thumbed through with great enthusiasm last week. But the online book dealer I bought my copy from assures me the book is on its way. As soon as it arrives, and as soon as my semester here ends, I'll be sure to give it more thought here. Of course buying a copy is always a service to the writer, one I'm sure Deborah would appreciate, it being her first book and all.