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rearranged jumbles of the same words

Must. Read. More. Contemporary. Fiction. Adverbially, I recently had the chance to read Kate Christensen’s TROUBLE, borrowing it from a US public library via Kindle-for-Mac. (Christensen’s THE GREAT MAN, a book I discovered in the Denver hotel laundromat, is one of my favorite novels. Ever.) Here, her narrator hates on…well…you’ll see.

“I had nothing to do. I figured I could go into the kitchen and clean up the remnants of dinner, then take a shower, then check on Wendy and make sure she wasn’t on her laptop, being lured to a Burger King by a predatory middle-aged man posing as Zac Efron, and then I could come back to bed and read The New Yorker until I fell asleep. I was so sick of The New Yorker, I couldn’t bear it. I had read just about every issue for the past twenty years, and for a long time now, I had suspected that they recycled their articles and stories and cartoons in five-year loops; the poems were all just rearranged jumbles of the same words over and over: land, sky, light, death, love, cabin, hand, deer, cedar, lake, face, dark, kitchen table, skin, you. It made me want to try my hand at a New Yorker poem myself. How hard could it be?

– Kate Christensen, Trouble.

I particularly appreciate the inclusion of “kitchen table” in that list. You know who you are, poets.

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