RAIN TAXI REVIEW OF BOOKS: Practice, Restraint Review

Rain Taxi Review of Books, Volume 11, No. 1

Practice, Restraint
Laura Sims
Fence Books

“In her first book, Laura Sims makes an exercise in what she describes as ‘The infinite // Network of rooms,’ in which the president of the United States, Jesus Christ and his penis, and the author’s affinity for pulp paperback romances all commingle to produce a single, oddly minimalist voice. ‘It’s no longer about singing,’ she quips, ‘I can’t stand when you sing.’ Instead, making such observations as the president’s ‘failure of making/ a fantasy park / out of war // in an armchair,’ Sims is interested in precise, almost surrealistic, instances which collaborate with one another to reveal large shadows of farce and irony. The cement holding these pieces of darkly-colored glass together is Sims’s sensual anti-lyrical style, which allows grammatical fragments to begin and drop ideas on a whim, pulled sparsely over the page:

I am new

I left my dress

In the film

A body of water

Here, as throughout the book, the reader is allowed to indulge in a fantastic eroticism, without being given the leisure of any accessible titillation. So it is that Sims makes her rhetorical remarks political, sensual, humorous and ecstatic. As the title of the book suggests, the poems here balance at the edge of suggestion and denial.”

Aaron McNally