The Hominine Egg
Author: Jenny Gropp
Publisher: Kore Press (2017)
From the opening poem, where everyday scenes clothe a cast of characters in weather, tears, and prayer, to "animal between," where the narrator conjures her desires into the courage to explore her sexuality, to the ontological vignettes of a woman living in Northern Japan under the constant presence of fog, to the etymological, political eruptions of language in the book's final section, The Hominine Egg suggests that vigilance of observation is a spiritual practice out of which one hatches again and again.
“So this is how people / play before waking, / before behind the glass / becomes the bottom of the pan.” The poems in The Hominine Egg, in a dream logic, in an open study of the world’s properties and our language for them, close at hand and lost in fog, present their findings as acts of recovery. Deriving is a means of revelation. I feel, reading this extraordinary book, like one of its novitiates, chasing down fugitive understanding of what more we know there is to know, miraculously falling “like salt on a space / and circumstance appears.”
“The earth shakes its feast,” writes the poet at the 11th hour of this exquisite first collection. Well, collection rides wide of the mark: perhaps interfusion hints truer. Try one seismic alloy of all: her corporeal frame imbibing the texture, the architecture, the weather, the word whose spleen is mercury, the liquor, the landscape, the eros, the thanatos, the jabs of prismlike lyric, and this silence settling between each luminous word like a confetti of fish scales falling through a bird. It’s a broken world book to get your hands dirty with; it’s an aesthetician’s dream; it’s seambursted with clarion wisdoms; it’s a feast. In fact, if I had four syllables to b(l)urble it, I’d chirp: gustatory. Jenny Gropp is a major new force in American poetry: unhollow yourself via her sumptuous wordway."
"Jenny Gropp’s poems are alive. In them thought wrestles and dances through the circuits of syntax, pressing words into lines twisted and surprising and true to the intricacy of emotional life. Just when you think one of her lines might calm and settle, the torque of Gropp’s mind spins it open. The words split and take us through a world, a thought unexpected."