Thursday, September 08, 2016

Hollywood Starlet | Ivy Alvarez

Hollywood Starlet: poems by Ivy Alvarez (dancing girl press, 2015). Saddle-stapled, unpaginated.

These poems read to me like broken sonnets: there's a recursive quality to their sound and structure, just enough slant rhyme to hint at threads of formality trailing through the poems like a trodden hem. I read this in my car on lunch break, then again at home, then again at bedtime. Familiar snippets of biography and legend, artfully lineated with close attention to voice and portraiture, plus just enough surprising imagery, all structured with a kind of ghostly, shattered formality: I really enjoyed this chapbook.

Some excerpts:

There'll be no ovation. There's hardly a road. / Home is a distant thought, hovering on a squall. ("What Ingrid Bergman Wanted")

Under the bridge, a dim lagoon. / Slow notes from a saxophone / glow in the trees. The pool / becomes a black sky, fallen leaves collapsed stars. ("What Ava Gardner Delivered")

tender leaves to sting the tongue / to wonder, a mouthful of silence ("What Jayne Mansfield Had")

[Rebound with variegated rose-red cord.]

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