An Introduction to Jennifer Moore by Virginia Konchan

Moore delights in parataxis and inversions of scale; the reader of this formally dexterous poem is an Alice in a world that is not quite what it seems, but even this metaphor is not quite right—it’s a “cup” we’ve fallen into, in “Domestic Noir II,” not a rabbit hole (“the cup you fell into/fell into silence.”) The associative leaps quietly astound, and the magic is in the speaker’s ability to create a sonic space for the private sphere, however full of paradox, within the occasion of an ostensibly public poem. In this poem, insides are confounded with outsides, silence with song. To create a poem about the secrets of a domestic interior that ends up revealing more about the reader’s desire (and unease in the spaces she inhabits) is a wonderful feat of language: a feat Moore builds upon throughout the poem. The closet itself is charged with keeping secrets; the moths that inhabit the closet are accused of “run[ning] their mouths all over town.” It’s a wonder to live in a body with hands “simple as mice”: in this poet’s rituals of world- and self-making, but it’s also a wonder to merely circulate, in the words of Stevens, within a single body, or poem. “Shut the door to this room,” the speaker declares, “empty as a sling enfolding no bone.”

Read Jennifer Moore’s “Domestic Noir II” >>