LA Review of Books analyzes and reviews Tess Taylor’s thoughtful works

“The poems in Rift Zone exist in a moment before rupture, an overhang of historic land fractured by histories revised and erased. Taylor magnifies these tensions when she recalls the instabilities of her adolescence. Moments from her upbringing in a suburb “clean as a lobotomy” take place against the vastness of geologic space-time — “the Earth’s mantle, rock moving.” Of the muted violence in the seemingly bucolic suburbs, she writes, “No one explained the reasons / Dana found that spring / to bring her brother’s gun to school.” Greater violence seems just beyond reach and inevitable. Later, she writes of her teenage years’ dawning socio-political awareness, “We could say systemic racism / but couldn’t name yet how our lives were implicated.” The precipice of “yet” is ascribed to her present self, revealing another kind of self-awareness: “O my god that was embarrassing.”…

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