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Frankenstein's Flowers, Poems by Charlene Fix
The rich poems of Frankensteinís Flowers by Charlene Fix engage monsters, but never monstrosities, and find beauty in dark and unexpected places.
“What drew me to the poems of Charlene Fix was, above all, their largeness of spirit, their wise intelligence, their delightful and urbane humor at the follies of our kind, and their fine ear for a cadenced, resonant free verse. Few poets can be genuinely funny, and, at the same time, sympathetic in the face of an acute awareness that sharpens the wit. I admired her refusal to be pious about subjects before which so many lower their voices and look mournful; she proved incapable of that secret ego ascension that aggrandizes victimhood, whereas, bypassing that indulgence, she reveals the unlikely miracle of human self-restoration, as well as how blithe the lucky ones can be.
“And what a wide range of moods and modes these inviting poems possess, and an eclectic store of cultural references‹all put to poetic use for rumination, reflection, and the kind of diffraction of light that brings illumination from unexpected angles of vision. The anxiety about time of Alice's White Rabbit becomes a metaphor for mortality; a crush on the weatherman reveals the climate of a culture; her Orpheus is an ornamental poet who fails to catch Death's ear “until he opened up the vein of his / despair and let it shape his plea.’ And, in a poem about Frankenstein, its syntax broken and patched and enlivened like its subject, we’re shown how an ill-made life, ‘a brain struggling against worm damage and / unaccustomed thoughts,’ can lead even the sweetest intentions to a fatal confusion.”—Eleanor Wilner
Charlene Fix is a Professor of English at Columbus College of Art Design. A member of The House of Toast Poets, a performance and workshop group, she has received poetry fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council and the Greater Columbus Arts Council, and has published poems in various literary magazines, among them Poetry, Literary Imagination, Hotel Amerika, Mudfish, The Antioch Review, The Ohio Review, Chicago Review, The Journal, The Manhattan Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Artful Dodge, Rattle, The Cincinnati Review, and Alimentum. Her chapbook Mischief is available from Pudding House Publications, Charlene Fix Greatest Hits 1999-2011 is available from Katywompus Press, and her collection of poems, Flowering Bruno, with illustrations by Susan Josephson, a finalist for the 2007 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry, is available from XOXOX Press. Eleanor Wilner chose ten of Charlene's poems for the Robert H. Winner Memorial Award from The Poetry Society of America in 2007, David Lehman selected her poem, "On the Outskirts of Veritgo" for the Louis Hammer Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America in 2011. Her study of Harpo Marx in the thirteen Marx Brothers films, Harpo Marx as Trickster is available from McFarland Publishers.
ISBN 978-1625490698, 114 pages, $19.00