Harryette Mullen's 5th poetry assortment, Sleeping with the Dictionary, is the abecedarian offspring of her collaboration with of the poet's so much seductive writing companions, Roget's glossary and The American background Dictionary. In her ménage à trois with those devoted partners, the poet knows that whereas Roget seems captivated with different types and hierarchies, the American background, whatever its faults, was once compiled with the help of a democratic utilization panel that integrated black poets Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps, in addition to feminist writer and editor Gloria Steinem. With its arbitrary but determinant alphabetical association, its gleeful pursuit of the ludic excitement of notice video games (acrostic, anagram, homophone, parody, pun), in addition to its reflections at the politics of language and dialect, Mullen's paintings is critical play. the various poems are encouraged or encouraged by means of a method of the foreign literary avant-garde workforce Oulipo, a dictionary online game referred to as S+7 or N+7. this technique of textual transformation--which is used to compose nonsensical travesties such as Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky"--also creates a type of automated poetic discourse.

Mullen's parodies reconceive the African American's relation to the English language and Anglophone writing, via textual copy, recombining the genetic constitution of texts from the Shakespearean sonnet and the fairy story to airline defense directions and direct mail. The poet admits to being "licked in every single place by way of the English tongue," and the identify of this publication may possibly remind readers that an intimate accomplice who additionally offers language classes is named, euphemistically, a "pillow dictionary."

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Trickle of salt. Wets and cries. A hand, occasionally a fist. Lolling towards rhythm. A buzz that saved me unsleeping nights. Burning triangles. each sound coming during the wall. Dream of elephant. Dream of braiding hair. Who wears these sneakers with cutouts? In my subsequent lifetime discover ways to play guitar. she will bend her tongue either methods yet can’t whistle. introduced cactus to a housewarming. We sat on a mat with cups of jasmine tea. They slept on a skinny straw petate and ate off stolen plates. affordable, ample rolls of froth. nobody I knew owned field springs or a settee. Futons support the backbone like yoga. Cleopatra’s barge. therapeutic massage with oil to track of flutes. It penetrates. The door left open. an individual peeked into the darkish. She looked at her blind dates from the wish advertisements at a bar known as Crow’s Nest. form of a scene, i suppose. sizeable photo window with a view of the bay. listening to them chortle and moan. these barking canine have been sea lions at the rocks offshore. I’d by no means put on that suit. I couldn’t get to sleep in any respect. My brain saved circling. all of them have various fathers. a few had eco-friendly eyes. Genetic lottery or slot computing device. Lab rat seeks gift. recommendation for my face. as soon as I became it on it wouldn’t flip off. This guy I didn’t be aware of was once stroking my foot with out announcing a note. He felt unfastened to stare at strangers on a bus. Frijoles borachos. Mestizaje. Hasta los angeles pasta. U. S. flag in neon at the ceiling of a chinese language eating place in Texas. strong jukebox. funds pinned to her gown. able to gentle the sparklers. The good-looking candidate dropped out of the race. Euphoria ended in a relocating violation. Dachshund puppy wears hooks for dog cups. Head within the briars, middle gushes a flame. Plaster arms impaired in prayer. Thick-haired Irish brothers press their precise blue matches. Martyred dream. Preacher will get extra chook. Slippery pages edged with gilt. Her skirt fanned out to seize the ashes. Hula ladies gesture towards tropical wooden utensils. Island journeys or army hitch. Shepherd vs. shepherdess. Porcelain positive aspects, intricate frames. Angel within the nick snatches teenagers from the threshold. Toreador velvet. Bronze sneakers subsequent to gathers. Plush puckery. Ottoman embroidery. previous masters macaroni sprayed gold. Curly bark retains identify in nail polish. Teacups, blurred roses, ivy jungle. Bowl of glass inedible. Plastic covers over formal furnishings. now not a front room yet a parlor. dirt to dirt. the kid who carves her initials at the piano. Park the motorbike within the kitchen. Lean opposed to the refrigerator. top cardboard tunnels. Burn scar from area heater. I’m sorry you’re toast. Voice of ham static flies worldwide. Kotex field the place somebody can see. Separate domiciles. by no means a tablecloth. storage choked with church ink. Strategize at chess whereas twirling spaghetti out of the pot. the place the brush went upside my head. Getting stoned after college in a rock struggle. subsequent day I wore a speeding pirate’s eye patch. Trailer park hit via twister. track that claims get an unsightly lady to marry you. Doll with ponytail and pedalpushers. Melamac. Chinet. Slurpee. Her identify was once Felicia yet after all they referred to as her Fellatio. people who smoke came visiting so I needed to discover a jar lid.

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