1998 • 82 pp. • $10.00
Cover Image: Richard Tuttle, Line-Piece No. 10, 1993
“Fray: To fight; to ravel out; to strain; to rub. Fray opens with “Standing.” The poems here are generous, always complicated, at times quiet. They are understanding place or space and the body’s relation. Grim shows us places we might easily overlook, things we might not otherwise see: Vermilion Creek, West, The Island, Sewell WVA, Fort Recovery, Florida, Marin. We learn to recognize “exactly what sort of day it is.” We learn to see while standing.”
As paradises are repeatedly lost and found in calm prosodic temper, good-natured terror makes surprise appearances, disrupting in layered (“latent” “pleasing” “violent”) contradiction. Recounting and reflecting upon conditions of contingency and presence, at moments Grim echoes Sappho’s address to what’s just out of reach. Something momentous (“hefty”) is going on— read Fray and discover what it is!
Jessica Grim in Fray achieves an extraordinary subtle and varied movement of words and silences in her poems by means of line breaks, strophe breaks, enjambment, variation in types of syntactical units, and several kinds of “rests,” notably caesural spaces of several different lengths and sometimes dashes. Her word choices and their referents are also greatly varied and the relations between their sounds are very stimulating and satisfying. Altogether a beautiful book of poetry.
—Jackson Mac Low
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jessica Grim is the author of 4 books of poetry; Vexed, online from /Ubu Editions in print from BlazeVOX [books], Fray (O Books, 1998), Locale (Potes & Poets Press, 1995), and The Inveterate Life (O Books, 1990). She co-edited Big Allis, a magazine focusing on experimental writing by women, from 1989-1996, and has participated in writing communities in the Bay Area, New York, and northeast Ohio.