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book review:

Security Posture

The syntax and rhythms stutter and glitch like scratched CDs, and if it’s an air of anxiety and confusion Sarah Dowling is after, then she’s certainly achieved it in Security Posture. Some of these poems read like declassified CIA documents with most of the words omitted. Dowl­ing’s verses seem disrupted, as though her computer printer choked to death as it spit them out. The diction in Security Posture sounds mechanical, and the imag­ery is cold. There are so few references to an “I” speaking that when one suddenly does appear it looks like the last survivor of nuclear fallout standing on a hill sur­veying a pile of dead words beneath it. Because of this atmosphere of mechanical reproduction the more I read, the more I wanted Dowling to let me in on her pro­cess. Many of the poems share similar motifs, displaced punctuation and repeti­tion to the point where I wondered if she used the interference of some machine to add an element of chance to her composi­tion. By all this I mean to say that I like Security Posture. This is wholly modern, machine-age poetry and I recommend it to anyone who finds such work appealing. (Mat Laporte)

by Sarah Dowling $12, 63 pgs., Snare Books, 4832A Parc Ave., Montreal, QC, H2V 4E6,

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