“No one wants to talk about the erotica of the absurd,” Jen Currin writes in her third collection of poems, The Inquisition Yours
Surreal? No sweat. But even Currin seems a little skittish about the erotica end of the equation, preferring politics and family life to “The Sexual.”
Still, the narrator’s lover-sister-friend occasionally appears — sometimes solid, sometimes spectral, often in a dress.
Currin updates longstanding surrealist tropes — dreamscapes, disjointed images — with lines that would have been unthinkable to André Breton.
Take the opening of “New Security Technologies”:
Immediately when they leave
they are taken out of the system
Or this, from “Half-Naked or Partially-Clothed”:
I really did make myself dizzy
at the grief teleconference
With lines like these, Currin locks in her reputation. This is a new poetry for a new century.