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While the fables which are enfleshed in us surpass in hysteria even the least remittent syndromes of infotainment, we are inured to overexcitement just as we beg the favor and discipline of the decider, though he zeroes us, abetting the containment of our contaminants a long way from the house. It is within this perverse epoch that Sorites protrudes itself, ensconcing the prismatic caress between those “noble lies” and the “splendid men” who engender them as a golden shower of grammatical derivatives. We groom ourselves in a landscape barren of any “reified” language in need of resuscitation, but rather lamped in the utter ambiguity of violence inherent in reception and address, “The word as such strikes/ … As a bridge for the new man.” But emergence belies the heap. When the efficacy of speech appears to reside in its substancelessness, what is it to awake to find “your bodily eikon dematerialized?” As Gertrude Stein, in “Poetry and Grammar,” evokes her willed desecration of substantives and nouns when she suggests that the “intense existence” of objects is contingent upon its being felt without its being named, Sorites bends Stein’s inquiry toward our own democratic substantiations where the suckling of “free speech” and the matasuegras of disinterested judgment develop out of pace, “What is that/ is not yet/ depends on whose/ thought can think/ thought as/ such.” We are asked, “‘Is the public not the greatest/ Sophist,’ especially when its word fails?” This pubescent indebtedness to future-users here cannot resolve itself in lunch-hour testimony, louching through great halls that the boards endeavored to erect without a body and without license. We may intuit that what is “true/ for all is/ what makes what/ ought to be for all/ a fact” but this sapience leaves us no nearer the advertised mood. As man, among men, who has no use but uses, there is no adultery that cannot be disposed of before poetry. Our conjectural prosody will be upskirt.
Words can nourish and give pleasure, can be feasts replete with edgy and delightful textures and flavors. The dual sensualities named in Lorange’s title are everywhere present in her poetics. The “you” and “I” incarnate only by means of speech enact their conjoined philogies—lusty, omnivorous, humorously irreverent, but grave with longing as well. All this from a knowledgeable and daring mind for your reading (newly cognate with eating) pleasure.
—Joan Retallack, author of Memnoir
One thing eating another: that seems a perfectly reasonable procedure—in a world without language. But just add a few words, and appetite becomes an exquisite ethical conundrum. Piquancy is now the common need, all too rare. Astrid Lorange knows—and shows—where it can be found.
—Bob Perelman, author of IFLIFE