Author: Peter Richards
Publisher: Action Books (2011)
This narrative lyric sequence is lit with a ravishing light: part erotic, part nuclear, entirely mutagenic, dangerously Sublime. From a point both in the past and the future, from a narrow cell that is at once the lyric, the body, a fort, a hospital bed, an escape pod, the mind, and memory itself, the narrator relates in image-rich lines the several rises and falls of a beloved, a queen, a monster, a regime, an imperium, a self, and the self's various selves: as lover, captive, traitor, soldier, sensory apparatus and memory machine. Like Dante's La Vita Nuova, Helsinki shows how the lyric, while apparently encapsulated by form, is in fact vulnerable to dazzling competing proximities—to Love, to the Past, to Story, to Power, and to Obliteration.