Cami Park

No Tell Books: God Damsel, by Reb Livingston

In Opinion, Poetry, Religion on September 3, 2010 at 6:48 pm

You withstood distance, you cannot withstand bareness.
Reb Livingston, from THE DEATH OF WOE-DODO

God Damsel, by Reb Livingston

God Damsel is a religion constructed, deconstructed, and then reconstructed by Reb Livingston in 121 Prophecies, Litanies, Spells, Hymns, Proverbs, Laments, Chronicles, and other poetics.  At Poetry Instigator last October, Reb described God Damsel as a collection of “translations of translations of religious texts,” defining her translation process as “whatever my mind churned out,” and her mind churns out some amazing and inventive butter– Reb Livingston does things to language that probably should not be discussed in polite conversation:

Lament for Forfeited Details

revealed . . .
. . . of slumscored . . . Gigolo . . . . . . . . mauled his
seebitty snout . . . yanked her buttery seabangs . . .
abdicate this fucktruce!

This is a collection in which structure matters; the book is constructed in such a way that the mythology develops and matures as figures such as Damsel, Woe-Dodo, Fishyman, Czarina, Apron, Gigolo,  Shepherd and GOURD are introduced, allowing the language, the humor, the pure lyricism and imagination of the individual works to carry the reader, as collectively they add up to  a complete, resonant mythology.

I am enthralled by and in awe of this work– God Damsel is innovative and utterly fearless in its treatment of language, yet completely accessible, and funny as hell. A superb accomplishment.

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