Take Me To Your Stutter
Guest Post by Susan Kay Anderson
Brian Matta’s superbly inventive Stuck, Stutter, Persist is like stepping into a room only to have a secret door open, revealing an entity who will communicate with you, maybe bonding with you forever and ever. This entity is expressed as a stutter, but is the inexplicable making itself known. What is signified by a glitch, a pause, a repetition, or an echo is really something very different. But what?
In the poem, “Check out that breech” the main character is the stutter (sound) “—ch” and it is heard throughout in a list of material items; “chest . . . brunch . . . chapel” which seem ordinary and unsuspecting but invoke a stutter near the end of the poem. The stutter asserts itself here and in each poem in this marvelous and tantalizing book, not as “—ch” but as a different stutter sound in each poem.
These stutters (these poems) slowly become fodder for existential contemplation. Much like the world Gregor in Kafka’s novella, The Metamorphosis, experiences, we see that this world also needs no introduction once you start reading. The stutter does persist to draw out and slow down the experience of dramatic life events and serves to underscore and even lead the poems away from simple explanation.
When I first began reading Stuck, Stutter, Persist, I was intrigued because it seemed weird and a sort of strange homage to anger or patience or both. But it is much different because it is masterfully poetic in its unblinking regard of the parts of life which fly by so fast that only a stutter can catch bits of them before they are lost.
Stuck, Stutter, Persist by Brian Matta. Black Centipede Press, 2019.
Reviewer bio: Susan Kay Anderson’s first book of poems is Mezzanine. Anderson was the poetry editor of Big Talk, a free publication in the early 1980s featuring Pacific Northwest punk bands. She has a poem forthcoming in Sleet Magazine’s Winter Issue, “The Inside Edition II” and Please Plant This Book Coast To Coast, Virginia Brautigan Aste’s memoir, will be published by Finishing Line Press in 2021. Her recent work can be found in Calibanonline, Gnashing Teeth, Lily Poetry Review, Mojave River Review, NewPages What Am I Reading?, Panoply, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Porter Gulch Review.
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