Author: Kate Colby
Publisher: Ugly Duckling Presse (2008)
Part autobiography, part revisionist biography of Jane Bowles, Unbecoming Behavior is Kate Colby's attempt to "wind [herself] like a stripe to a pole" in order to catch an honest glimpse of herself "in the corner of [her own] eye." The long poem is about personal historicity, persona, performance, femininity, travel, exile, home, storytelling, and the act of writing itself. "To use her own words, Kate Colby's poetry 'cannibalizes' and 'interbreeds' with itself, with the author's life, and with the work and life of Jane Bowles, the great 20th century fiction writer and playwright. This book-length poem creates its own trajectory—a set of rapid explosions which transform into caresses. Colby's harmonics—graceful, melodic, fluid and dissonant by turn—work in counterpoint to the relentless flow of fragments and blurs. Unbecoming Behavior is hyper-active to the extreme, and a step onwards."