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book review:


Marguerite Pigeon’s collection of poetry entitled Inventory acutely investigates the complexities at play in the ways of remembering, looking and, in her self-titled poem “Marguerite Pigeon,” the ways we think others perceive us. Inventory is just that: a collection of objects that have been categorized, numbered, alphabetized and stored. Pigeon goes beyond simply collecting, as each poem tackles the physical pang of the objects-“Banana,” “Elastic Band,” “Newspaper”-to the extent that the object occupies a history, a life that is rendered inextricable from the voice describing it. From “Hair Dryer,” with its “spirit of women whose heads have also disappeared up into a static-y twister,” to the “shaft of lit dust, which stirs, which sparkles into images” in Pigeon’s “Movie Theatre,” Inventory expresses a realm of imagination that mixes childhood curiosity with a postmodern promise of indeterminacy. What’s more, by playing with such objects as clothespins, tea bags and the extinctions of Inca Child Mummies, fathers and Hadrosaurs, Pigeon is deeply engaged in unfolding a philosophy of everyday life and objects, exposing her entanglement in a fragmented world. Inventory expands our capacity to attend to everyday life by insisting that experience may be found in the minutiae, in our sensatory reactions and in the “non-event-ness” of the day-to-day. Pigeon gives us a panoptic textual view of the ordinary, while recounting visions of the kitchen, the apartment and the library as structures that are simultaneously places to eat, live and read as well as places with histories and personalities of their own. (Brooke Ford)

by Marguerite Pigeon, $15.00, 80 pgs, Anvil Press, P.O. Box 3008, Main Post Office, Vancouver, BC, V6B 3X5

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