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Books Noted: Christine Hume, Shot


Counterpath Press, 2010

The poems in Christine Hume's Shot enter night and reside in its hovering darkness; its insomnia; its moments of crisp, abstract clarity; and its bodiless physicality. In the dark of night, Hume is able to give thought dimension and physicality and the body a surreal depth. The poems rest in the blurry divisions between self and body and rasp at the strangeness of carrying another inside the body. Carla Harryman writes, "Hume's poetry pursues a new mode of experiential thinking, located in an uncanny architecture of somatic existence touching the physical world. This is gorgeous and courageous writing." In a poem that evokes the sensation of finding one's way through a long night, Hume writes:

Your sleep-eye has
its irreversible reasons

its ocean closes
and closes

He digs markers
out of a graveyard

to make way
for an interstate

Hume draws us down her imagined interstates to arrive at a new sense of what we can see through the dark.

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