Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Close Reading/Review of David Dodd Lee's "The Nervous Filaments" in the Gulf Coast

"Lee plays on our collective emotions in The Nervous Filaments, evoking in us a sense of something we knew in a previous life, always bringing us back to this mysterious, and often eerie, “she” who haunts the entire collection. “She” is washing your hair, “and then she’s under you, / smelling of sheetrock, stained by antibiotics” (“The Seventies”), until suddenly “she” is searching your palm for a lifeline (“Tachycardia”). Whoever “she” is, she moves from poem to poem, graceful and terrifying. Her placement within the collection helps ground the reader in Lee’s world because “she” acts as the guide, leading us through the anxious verse that would be completely unknowable without her. Strangely, “she” herself is unknowable, a series of contradictions, the sometimes-lover, the sometimes-monster, the constant ghost at our side: in her we find a piece of ourselves. We become her, if only for a line or two, and thus we become part of the story, no longer mere readers but actors in this strange and nervous world."

To hear more of Cosgrove's thoughts on Lee's writing in The Nervous Filaments, click here.

To do your own close reading, visit Four Way Books to get a copy of The Nervous Filaments.