Author: Julie Carr
Publisher: Omnidawn (2014)
The question of civic lyric―the possibility of a politics of mourning―runs through this book-length aria-errancy-eros. All vectors of “rag” are at work: polemic political journal, syncopated turn-of-century song, menstrual blood, burial shroud, complaint, insult, a wiping cloth, the barest semblance of clothes, the slang word for woman. The energy running beneath this rag is human violence and sexual force erupting through fragments of film, fairy tale, news, novels: a father on fire, stranger in tears, prisoner who believes he’s a dog, women dressed in food, women refusing to eat, a body with no face, or a face with no skin. RAG spirals forward, picking up recurrent language, its narratives troubled by stutter, broken by what can’t be told.