Review: Susan Slaviero’s SELECTIONS FROM THE MURDER BOOK

This first tiny gem from Tree Light Books is one of the best chapbooks (maybe the best) I’ve encountered all year. Honest.

The thing is filled with dry death: with bones, ghosts, dirt. It’s stark and self-aware, acutely focused on delivering these dark images thick with brilliant and quick language — something like speaking with sweet top soil in your mouth and on your teeth. Picture it.

Lists are also present, molding this darkness into an organized chaos (I’ll admit I’m a sucker for such things). Here’s a selection from one of my favorites, called “Characteristics of the Murdered Object,” which sheds light too on the incredible textured language this thing has to offer:

2
next door, pistols laboring to fire.

3
a muffled hour, a rotted footstool.

4
a woman cast into dark mirrors, fretwork and filigree.

5
dreaming of nightgowns, of calving moons.

I’d go longer but I hate spoiling. This tiny, gorgeous thing is available over at Ghost Ocean Magazine‘s brand new Tree Light Books.

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