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"Every drawer in every chest overflows with illogic and passion." "Do we want love each and every day of our lives?" Jan Conn asks in a poem called Michoac'n. "You bet your ass," she answers. The poems of Botero's Beautiful Horses are charged with otherness, bright with the exhilaration and danger of transformation. Many are descriptions of surrealist canvases, astonishingly kinetic narratives composed by looking hard at unusual pictures, the artists' writings and their circumstances; and letting them speak for themselves. The book becomes a journey away from the familiar into other cultures, especially Latin American. Poem after poem gathers a sense of inner as well as outward journey away from a perilous childhood; into a wide world rich and strange with a recurrent underworld motif of darkness, blackness. But what a black! Rich and various, life as if viewed in the "obsidian mirrors the Aztecs fashioned from the dark."Colours the Aztecs invented: eagle-devouring-snake black expansionist black dried-blood black. They loved the night creatures: owls, scorpions, bats, the Queen of Spiders." --from "People of the Left-Sided Hummingbird." "Jan Conn is a Dali with a scalpel of words, with colourwheels for eyes. To read her is to feel alive, sometimes flayed, but always held in a lush dream replete with flora and fauna every bit as magical as they are real. She is conducting an operation of intelligence and observation, a taxonomy of the senses cooked over flames of Art, embracing the cultures of the Americas."--Marilyn Bowering
- Brick Books, January 2009
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