The Caedmon Room–Nate Pritts’ Chapbook Reviews

Editor’s Note: Nate Pritts is the author of Sensational Spectacular (BlazeVOX) & the recent chapbook Shrug (MSR Press).  His new book, Honorary Astronaut, will be out from Ghost Road Press in the fall of 2008.  The editor of H_NGM_N, Nate works in advertising.  You can find him online at


Maryrose Larkin, inverse.

nine muses books.


Built out of obsessive clarifications & a desperate compulsion to reference, to provide support for, inverse presents the reader with an almost completely effaced speaker whose main concern is the attempt to know & communicate.  Rather than residing in the self & structuring that self around & through the perceptions of a central consciousness, the poem(s) takes as its subject the very logic of knowing.  When we read the phrase “between theories waking life” we’re forced to understand that this work is asking us to integrate our capacities for “logic” & “reason” in the Romantic sense – our abilities to think & feel.

Throughout, the provisional nature of knowledge is what seems to be under the most scrutiny; if the speaker has to go to such great lengths to accurately articulate anything, then is knowledge itself flawed.  Is knowing something helpful or even necessary?

                        The name of this intersection is frost broken up

                        heavy spar reign heavy phrase ravishment

                                                    strands careening

                        let us unfurl instead: weather

                                                   see also river

                        see also    self and the less restricted sense

I’d have a hard time tracing what the speaker is getting at here, in the traditional sense, but if we give up on that, of ever knowing exactly what, then I think we’re closer to the point.  Larkin’s project here seems to be the interrogation of knowledge, creating the sense that we can achieve a larger scale of perception both through intellect & outside of it.  “Come,” the poem tells us:

                        […]                  expound           breath intelligible

                        come shine

                        come abound unfold in  and about go

Cover, Inverse

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