Book Review


Book Cover


Invisible Mink
by Jessie Janeshek
Iris Press, $14.00, 2010. 92pp.  
ISBN: 978-1604542110
Review by William Wright

Invisible Mink is a book of empowerment. Syntactically risky and rigorous, Janeshek’s narrators orbits around women—actresses of the great black-and-whites (indeed, Betty Davis makes the first appearance)—but also fictional characters of literary import such as Lucy Snowe, the protagonist Charlotte Brontë’s 1853 novel, Villette, who recurs several times within the book. The ultimate stanza of “Life’s Work” reflects this collections preoccupation and central achievement; the book knits a link between subject and author, a Gothic doubling that reflects the emotional lives of the woman and poet simultaneously:

                        Dear Lucy, you light
                        my paragraph fire, stitch cheer
                        toward an end, and where
                        can that leave me? Out back
                        hacking up words.

Indeed, the women of these poems are muses, word-engines that inspire a poetry both feverish and rich, emotive and razor sharp. The words snap in these works, lush and chiseled, as they create clusters of images that draw readers into a dream hollow, where language is rearranged and charged, made breathless and kinetic.

            Thus, Invisible Mink empowers—not only its author and the females on which it centers—but its readers, as well, as they come away with its energy refreshed and privy to a truly original voice.   

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