I Wake with Eyes the Sound of Nectarines
Author: Annie Grizzle
Publisher: Users Americanus Press (2023)
Language we know is somatic and yet this fact often eludes us. In Annie Grizzle’s I Wake with Eyes the Sound of Nectarines, we are bluntly confronted by the compulsion and confusion of a word’s becoming, first as body, then as breath, and ultimately as sound. It is this vibrational process that Grizzle, in kinship with the poetics of Charles Olson and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, explores most evocatively. “Am I not vibration?” Grizzle asks the reader, “standing before you, humming my mush,” and we, too, feel compelled to examine our own mushiness like a primordial call and response. Listen, it’s 2023. The fads of Deconstruction are tacky compared to the neural networks of mycelium or the incandescent songs of sperm whales. Meaning is a byproduct, but sound is an essence. Grizzle’s work invigorates us toward the essential and sloughs the hermeneutic nastiness that eventually becomes ideology. Read this book the same way you would a lemon, or a river, or a cicada obscured by an elm. “The HEART, by way of the BREATH, to the LINE,” Olson asserts in his essay “Projective Verse.” We suggest trying it both ways.