SHORT TALKS by Anne Carson

Short Talks is a short book of short pieces, just a paragraph long each. It’s like 53 poems about different topics. I tried to read it a week ago and was like NOPE too random. I think I just didn’t have the patience to figure out what kind of book it was because I had just finished something else.

I picked it up this morning tho and liked it. Her punctuation style forces you to slow down and read carefully. For example: “When I look at the city of Paris I long to wrap my legs around it. When I watch you dancing there is a heartless immensity like a sailor in a dead calm sea” (from “Short Talk on Hedonism”). So I read “when I look at the city of Paris I long” before I realized there wasn’t going to be a comma anywhere. Gotta go back. Then the next sentence it happens again. Both of those lines are wild and made me circle around like, wait what did that just say?

My favorite piece was “Short Talk on Defloration:”

The actions of life are not so many. To go in, to go, to go in secret, to cross the bridge of sighs. And when you dishonoured me, I saw that dishonour is an action. It happened in Venice. It causes the vocal chords to swell. I went booming through Venice, under and over the bridges, but you were gone. Later that day I telephoned your brother. What’s wrong with your voice? he said.

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