Reading and rereading this extraordinary manuscript, I find
myself asking where these poems most completely come alive: word, line
or "sentence"? The truth is I can't tell--the poems leap off
the page at all levels, as if Jessica Grim has tapped into the secret
of a fourth dimension. Playful, serious, intense and wise all at once,
with an accurate eye and an absolute ear, Locale contains some
of the most riveting poems of our time. The art of the 21st century starts
After reading the works in Jessica Grim's Locale, it occured to
me that Louis Zukofsky's two paradigmatic poetic qulaties were superbly
evident in them. The locale of the title might be his "integral,"
conjoining "lower limit speech" with "upper limit music."
Thus, while the variousness and clarity of Grim's phrasing is certainly
musical, it is also evident that she has a great deal to say. And in this
regard, the poems are radiant with what can only be called sincerity--Zukofsky's
most mysterious term suggesting above all poetic lucidity and ethical
precision. The overall themes, of boundaries and un- boundedness, of definitions
and of change, are both moving and important. This is a major book--for
Jessica Grim and for the book's readers. I hope they will be many.
Jessica Grim is co-editor of Big Allis and a principal member of
the legendary performance art ensemble known as Vaudeville Without
Organs. In this, her third book, she emerges as a major figure in
the field of contemporary writing. Journal fragments in bed with living
tissue combine to coalesce, caress & bludgeon the "casual depending
of depair." At once analytic, romantic and slyly humorous, La Grim