Publishers Weekly, 2012-04-23 "Instead of not speaking," writes Cronk in her debut, "I want to speak." Here, speaking is meant as insurrection against injustice-whether in matters of love or war-wherever interiority is pitted against an unconquerable exterior: "Like praying, I thought that what I did inside meant something." The first of the book's two sections speaks out about a troubled love-where "distraction took on spiritual proportions"-and surpasses conventional renderings of heartache to describe a relationship's absurd premises and motions: "We were mad to be in contact with each other./ Now we are in contact with each other." Most ambitious is the second, title section, where poems in the voice of a warmonger's wife explore how anyone might be accessory to hegemony: "Though he fought/ there were no marks on his body,/ there were none on mine." Governed largely by free association, these minutes of one character's interiority contain a roughness, as White House tapes might: "Not Leftist. More Painless. More hidden, more lawless. By that I mean I have no law degree. I'm a woman cooking." If in these monologues-in-verse music is sometimes sacrificed for irony, Cronk's project to "blow up the Law with Language" still breaks through-and with this debut, she's surely lit a fuse. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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