Fort Red Border
publication date: 2009/08/01
trim: 9 x 6
price (paper): $14.95
ISBN (paper): 0
ISBN 13 (paper): 978-1-932511-74-1
YOU HAVE MADE A CAREER OF NOT LISTENING
God has spider skin and lives in secret trees.I have stood beside you, saying this, as you reach into the cupboard for another stack of dry noodles. You eat them with the dead still on, with the sticky deadness still on, because you always throw out the foil package of seasoning. So the noodle brick just loosens, slowly, in a flat brine of city water, just squats and spreads in the center of the frying pan like a washed-up boxer or a stranger's face disappearing into morphine. After the fight the boxer wraps a towel around his hips and walks into his manager's office. Some boys wipe fifty bucks' worth of sweat from the ring, then head to the all- night diner smelling like stacks of thumbs. Meanwhile, dollars bills are blooming in the stranger's lonely raincoat pocket. It is 5:00 a.m. There are places you will never go with me, no matter how many times you ask, or how hard you eat.
Love poems to Robert Redford and other irreverences by an amazing young talent
"With a loud smash and some seriously soulful ways, Kiki Petrosino's first book, Fort Red Border (starring Robert Redford in a lead role as the book's anagrammatic namesake and soulmate), comes charging out of the blue with valentines for everybody and a voice so 'bitchfoxly' that you'll wonder how you ever lived without it in the heart of your head wound. Beautifully oddball, with moxie for miles, these poems are by turns strangely touching, wonderfully alarming, and formally/syntactically nervy: 'Kneel down the dead face go down kneel down dead I kneel down'; 'God has spider skin and lives in secret trees'; 'Redford lifts his spoon, considering / the loose pyramid of Asian jungle fowl / on his tray.' Hooray for Kiki Petrosino and Fort Red Border! Its smart choreography and very special effects make for an amazing first collection by one of poetry's finest secret ninjas!"
—Matt Hart, editor of Forklift, Ohio
"Fort Red Border—the title itself an anagram for the name of this remarkable collection's imaginary beloved—shows how language can be pleated, unfolded, and creased all over again into an endless origami of Eros. . . . By turns clowning, worshipful, heartbroken, and Faulknerian, these lyrics transport the reader to a familiar place made utterly strange."
"Kiki Petrosino has a wholly live, snazzy eye that sees just what's happening right before it does. 'Mustang Bagel'; 'Secret Ninja'—she captures the unlikely combos of contemporary life: the fantasies and the ambiguities—the daily distances we're all born into. And she keeps her sense of humor, but even more, she keeps her sense of the mot juste—words sharp and alluring sting throughout these poems. This is brand new voice presenting a brand new angle on our world."
—Cole Swensen"The intimacy with which Kiki Petrosino exquisitely deciphers the shapes of objects, the feelings of skin, the anguish of being, and the infinitely civilized ravishment of foodstuffs, rides in close cohort with her audacity in approaching substances generally unchallenged by poets thusly engaged with lushness of descriptor and elegance of form: race, gender, Eros; Robert Redford, his sincerest attachment to a certain Other. These poems are at their best—as they often are—when they establish, delimit, and plumb an amorous space between two subjects. At their worst, they are 'stylish and convincing'—not to mention human and hilarious."