Arts & Entertainment
1 min

Erotica of the absurd

“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.