My Enemies

My Enemies

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Author: Jane Gregory 

Publisher: Song Cave (2013)

Jane Gregory's My Enemies records a poet's search for meaning in a landscape of combined and dissolving definitions. Affirming disaster and its beyond, these poems sing toward a self-made belief that will not rely on any static symbol or logic or idol. Gregory's dynamic, unpredictable enactments of the modern world avow vulnerability to a belief compatible with self-consciousness. Sometimes triumphant, sometimes overcome or self-ruinous, My Enemies never halts in its search for definition, even when it claims to not have been written as in the serial "Book I Will Not Write" poems. Each poem here establishes a new, necessary material and mode for our uncertain world that can offer its readers something to believe in; despite forces internal and external that try to undo us, Gregory's poems redo that undoing until "my enemies" becomes instead "my eyes many," a new sonic way of seeing.

"Jane Gregory’s My Enemies is a collection of high-stepping verses of live wires where every phrase is a detonation of swings, breaks and pops! Thrillers 'suitable for blasting’ (viz. 'guncotton’)—pages of startling figures, near rhymes and off rhymes, psychological, philosophical, ecological myths and near myths, sci-fi and paranormal references, and the multiple 'Book[s] I Will Not Write.’ Look at the word 'struggle’ enough times in one stanza, and you suddenly see infinity, and as Baudelaire wrote, 'There is no point as sharp as that of the Infinite.’ This book is 'so gone beyond’ any you’ve ever seen." 

–Norma Cole

 "Jane Gregory seems to take seriously Robert Duncan’s claim that 'I make poetry as other men make war or make love or make states or revolutions.’ In My Enemies she lays claim to his statement on her own terms when she says 'I recognize the tongue of the wolf / before it is in the wolf’s mouth.’ Or, one might also say, she has written an adventurous first book." 

–Peter Gizzi