Fog Gorgeous Stag indeed
By Nicolle Elizabeth.
Fog Gorgeous Stag, Sean Lovelace, Publishing Genius 2011
At first read, one might mistake Sean Lovelace‘s hybrid-prose poem collection Fog Gorgeous Stag to be a magical manual, a book which reads back the conscious of whatever the reader is looking for, through glowing light pages. On second read, one comes to realize Lovelace is indeed a magician, and his spells walk the line writing from a personal mindset with such specificity that each instance becomes relatable on a universal level, and between a deep understanding of the world as it turns -an understanding of how to utilize imagery so that the reader is manipulated into feeling comfort. Either way, Fog Gorgeous Stag will provide nourishment for those in need of Fluxus-inspired poetics.
We are granted a few common links between unique instances ranging anywhere from running through woods to spittle in test tubes. We have birds, we have the color blue – more prominent in the latter portion of the collection – we have sprinkles of religious imagery and we have a constant sense that the writer is omnipresent. Risky, at times gravitating toward the gravity of coy, the work sometimes feels as though we are being yelled at, as the writer scolds himself. This book is an indictment deeper than an exploration, Lovelace points a cold shaking finger and everything and says, “Have a look, would you? I’ll have a beer.”
From section ‘The Infinite Social Life of a Thing’:
“Say the reign of the stones. Hail stones walloped windows. Limestones flattened chrome. Say soapstones scrubbed the land of doors: screen, French, oven. (Nefertiti dialing phone psychics.) Sandstones brushed away the crazily stretched metal the camera flash bulbs the silver cufflinks the pearl oysters the black helicopter blades the etc. Say the sculptures of _____ erased by Alabaster. (Adonis splitting Paxil tablets.) Marbles, giant marbles-or call it what you will, flaming eyes, space stoned-screeching from the sky, into all the lakes, the swimming pools; ruptured all the yolks and deep water swirls down the drains. Storms of granite, thunderstorms of granite, the rain of stone.
(Cleopatra staggering in galoshes through the streets of acne…window frames of smiling faces.)”
Recently compared to Gertrude Stein by American Critic Beth Staples, Lovelace does indeed come across to my eye, as well, as movingly so, feminist. Lovelace will go far, and upon reading Fog Gorgeous Stag, one acquires the deepening sense this work marks the move toward a larger, more spelled out in realism volume. Will there be a novel? A script? Time will tell but if and when they surface, there is no doubt, they’ll be full of intuitive, finely crafted lines.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Nicolle Elizabeth is a fiction writer, book critic and MFA student in creative writing. She was a music journalist and editor in Boston for six years, though she has been writing fiction her entire life. The recipient of a long bloodline of documented European mystics, she will be pursuing a PhD in Mysticism, which she will apply to fiction, and is currently at work on a novel.
First published in 3:AM Magazine: Monday, July 18th, 2011.