Experiments I Should Like Tried at My Own Death
Author: Caryl Pagel
Publisher: Factory Hollow Press (2012)
"Caryl Pagel's Experiments I Should Like Tried at My Own Death provides a posthumous glimpse into a room where poems are knocking inside the walls and the ascending reader floats out into gaps of particulars, particles, and parts—or 'Names you will not recognize' owing to the relentless intercalation of bodiless bodies. Here is spectral evidence to be used in peeling away the argument that we don't exist. Alternatively, here are 'vestments' to clothe that existence, whose character and purpose are repeatedly reshaped atop a discontinuous ridge of occult figuration. Look out for that."
"In Caryl Pagel's Experiments I Should Like Tried at My Own Death, the act of naming presses out through the body to the natural world rendering the most poignant questions of the book those that concern agency: what happens to self and substance when the demarcation of names transpires. For example, in 'Spirit Cabinet' Pagel writes: 'What I live with in this house is mine I did not make it What did What is mine made me.' Here self is house is language. Such folding and unfolding calls to mind Heidegger's concept of language-as-house-of-being, where 'In its home man dwells. Those who think and those who create with words are the guardians of this home.' Occupying the position of both interior and exterior, architect and structure, these poems perform a threshold demonstrating the necessity of what is made possible and impossible—both—through naming's articulation."