Just because fairy tales don’t exist doesn’t mean we don’t need them—need their promise of a happily ever after—need their heightened, fanciful language to infuse our flat, modern vernacular with pomp and poof and oompf—but need especially their infusion of momentous meaning into our seemingly pointless actions and humdrum adult lives.
Through that hole of need enters Reb Livingston’s stunning God Damsel: a pyrotechnic, syntactical orgy wherein the speaker’s both creator and victim of a world that mirrors our own in disappointment and loss. She’s a creator of her own language, yet a victim of the limitations of all language. The poems are like the bizarre, hybrid-mutant animals slithering around the island of Dr. Moreau—cross-breeds of humor, whimsy, sharp intelligence, and deep—near unspeakable—sadness. I can hear Henry Darger’s Vivian Girls eerily reciting from God Damsel, like a primer, in unison. Do avoid the dreaded Woe-Dodo, and take a stroll through the puffy pink clouds (careful to avoid the inky-icky black pits) of God Damsel-land. - Jennifer L. Knox
Reb Livingston is also the author of Your Ten Favorite Words (Coconut Books, 2007). She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and son.
About No Tell Books (+ No Tell Motel)
Cousin to poetry magazine No Tell Motel and founded in 2006, No Tell Books is an independent press specializing in poetry. Upcoming titles for 2010 are Glass is Really a Liquid by Bruce Covey and Crushes by Lea Graham.
Reb Livingston: God Damsel
146 pages, paperback, $16.99
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