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Botero’s Beautiful Horses

by Jan Conn

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“Every drawer in every chest overflows with illogic and passion.”

“Do we want love / each and every day of our lives?” Jan Conn asks in a poem called “Michoacán.” “You bet your ass,” she answers. The poems of Botero’s Beautiful Horses are charged with otherness, bright with the exhilaration and danger of transformation. Many are descriptions of surrealist canvases, astonishingly kinetic narratives composed by looking hard at unusual pictures, the artists’ writings and their circumstances – and letting them speak for themselves. The book becomes a journey away from the familiar into other cultures, especially Latin American. Poem after poem gathers a sense of inner as well as outward journey away from a “perilous childhood” into a wide world rich and strange with a recurrent underworld motif of darkness, blackness. But what a black! Rich and various, life as if viewed in the “obsidian mirrors the Aztecs fashioned from the dark.”

Colours the Aztecs invented:
eagle-devouring-snake black
expansionist black
black of the flowery wars
dried-blood black.  

 

They loved the night creatures: owls, scorpions,
bats, the Queen of Spiders.

from “People of the Left-Sided Hummingbird”

“Jan Conn is a Dali with a scalpel of words, with colourwheels for eyes. To read her is to feel alive, sometimes flayed, but always securely held in a dream overwhelmingly rich with exotic flora and fauna. She is conducting an operation of intelligence and observation, a taxonomy of the senses cooked over flames of Art and wholly embracing the cultures of the Americas.” – Marilyn Bowering

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About the Author

Jan Conn was brought up in Asbestos, Quebec. She now lives in Great Barrington, Massachusetts and is a professor of Biomedical Sciences whose research is focused on the genetics and ecology of mosquitoes. She has published seven previous books of poetry, most recently Botero's Beautiful Horses (2009). Whisk, with Yoko's Dogs, is forthcoming 2013 from Pedlar Press. Please…

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Additional Info

  • ISBN: 1894078713
  • ISBN-13: 9781894078719
  • Pages: 144
  • Year: 2009
  • Dimensions 6 x 8.75 in
  • Category: ,
  • Cover Art:

    "Mexico en negro" by Leslie Zeidenweber

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