MICHAEL PAUL HOGAN: AMERICAN VOODOO
PO Box 109
ISBN 1 904781 95 0
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This page last updated: 1st September 2009.
|MICHAEL PAUL HOGAN: AMERICAN VOODOO|
Michael Paul Hogan values the space between lines and around words, arranging words as a painter slicks paint. No surprise then the images of films and occasional reference to artists slips in, eg, INTERIORS IV / MANHATTAN (complete poem)
The dress she wore shone like a movie screen before the movie. Like parachute silk. Or the label on a bottle of vodka. A collapsed star absorbing color. She was alone, that much was obvious from the wary looks the other women gave her, but her detachment was something deeper, the loneliness of the vampire, of Dracula's daughter. I watched her across the room, holding but not drinking a pale blue cocktail and staring intently at a (genuine) Mondrian as though recognising her own abstraction.People too are images as the writer observes, in STILL LIFE WITH A TYPEWRITER (VI)
When I'm old she said (lighting a pink and gold Sobranie) I'll borrow your typewriter and write my memoirs a catalogue of lovers, past and present poets and artists mostly my mother's been married for thirty-eight years to a guy she still worships can you believe that?The specific detail lavished on the cigarette brand is missing from the speaker who could be any woman or no woman. The space on the page, suggesting layers, allows the reader to build their own image. Providing that image conforms with nostalgia, in THE ORCHID HOUSE:
...Her breasts are the color of small money. She is old photographs where everybody is the color of iced tea. The writer watches (it is now, now) while his fingers crapshoot the typewriter keys against the paper...The writer appears frequently too, always observing, never taking part. Even in a hurricane, his mind is absent, HURRICANE SEASON II starts
The wind is coming. Great bombs of it explode against the windows. The writer in the corner of the bar hears the silk rush of palm trees, remembers a girl in a lilac sweater and a noise like tearing paper...We never learn anymore about the "girl in a lilac sweater". She (none of the women have names) is any woman and everywoman and, in her two-dimensional role as decorative backdrop, ultimately no-woman. She epitomises the poems: decorative, carefully constructed images but flat.
|reviewer: Emma Lee.|