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By Vanessa Roveto

Vanessa Roveto’s debut assortment, bodys, is a piece of gorgeous strangeness, strength, and audacity, generated by—and degenerating toward—the unanswerable query on the middle of poetic speech: What does it suggest to be “a person?” A dizzying hybrid of poetry and prose, post-human analytics and ribaldry, religious autobiography, and grim satire, Roveto lends exacting voice to “a most intricate vocabulary of feeling-your-feelings.” Viscerally interested in forbidden states and suspicious of its personal wishes, bodys is literature as high-risk, low-tech radiology, mapping the dim edges of id and id: “Brain scans indicated the ethical middle and the disgust middle overlap at the brain field.”

Roveto’s sentences hurtle ahead with withering disjunctive power, laying down traps of wordplay, tacking towards and veering clear of syntactical pursuits, trying-on and sloughing-off pronoun positions with abandon. but for all its postmodern bravado—and irreverence, and common frightening hilarity—bodys is still abidingly hooked up to exploring the matter of a human speaker addressing itself to a different, and colliding with its personal otherness alongside the way in which. it's the comparable problem—articulation as disarticulation—that animates the good Renaissance sonnet sequences, from which bodys is affectionately, and perversely, descended. what's bodys—what are bodys—anyway? A disorder within the body’s skill to multiply itself? A dysmorphic tackle the body’s feel of its fact? A dystopian imaginative and prescient of an international within which obstacles among selves and others were beaten by way of trade, surveillance, scientific know-how, nihilistic agitprop? “Last evening one of many ladies requested concerning the dating among a physique and nobody,” Roveto writes. “It used to be the gorgeous question.”

 

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