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Mary Rising Higgins

97 pages
ISBN 1-893541-25-8


The work of Mary Rising Higgins -- in the eariler red table(S and now in this wonderful volume -- is a recent and thrilling discovery for me. It is a work of precise inventions, work of imaginings that are carefully fantastical, compassionately observed. It is work of unfoldings. In oclock, Higgins's book of minutes, the unfoldings occur as turning spaces of time, as thought figures, as illuminations. But, as in the medieval books of hours to which I comparing oclock, one discovers here not only the beauty of the work but also the suffering and fear that exist in the times of which it speaks. oclock is an exquisite realization.
--Lyn Hejinian

Potes and Poets Press keeps happily spotlighting the adventurous, as in oclock's "dizzy topspin" "gap texture" "shapeshift" "fusebreak" "textimony" to "shake / subtext" "in smooth phrase loop rush mention" "how each link flares" -- "what possesses you sometimes obsessing on how the words take us along to catalog anywhere I look predisposed by" so "the I begins to recognize herself." Especially liking the integer & interim-marking run-on "wordsplash" & ellipsis-framing of micro-association. Where "words happen to the body," hope gets careless.
--Bruce Andrews

For these already smitten with the miracle and musculature of language, here is a virtuose who paints and sings under the influence of discipline and joy. oclock offers the connoisseur of innovative writing a work of supreme fluency, brilliant in technique and vibrant with taste, judgement, and intellect.
--Shiela E. Murphy

In Mary Rising Higgins's oclock what is at stake is the conventional power of the line and poetic shape. Still present, this linear pivot is made to wobble with iconic neutrality and habit, giving way to dizzying and dazzling protean shifts. A kaleidoscopic paralinearity? Perhaps. Yet memory icons too: the Baroque curve, traces of Herbert's Easter Wings, Apollinaire's Calligrammes and Malevich's suprematist squares all find evocation. All of this is to affirm that Higgins writes out of a solid knowledge of her linear past and offers a perverse reverse aubade. Inside this radical exoskeleton, the reader encounters the breathtaking impact of fertile, shifting signification materially as well as ideally asserted. Commas, those minor ants in the linguistic ecosystem emancipated into errancy, call attention to themselves and the major register of the text itself: a rich syntactic-semantic intermesh so evident on every page and best to call syncope. Derrida speaks of differance as both the spatialization of time and the temporalization of space. It's the splendid poetic realization of this chiasmus that is oclock's great achievement.
--Steve McCaffery