Stars of the Night Commute
Poetry. 6″x8″, 84 pp, pbk | 2009
Cover: Remedios Varo, Ícono, 1945 (Icon)
Reproduced with kind permission of Anna Alexandra Gruen.
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2010 Lambda Award Finalist for Lesbian Poetry
Thought-provoking, inspired and unexpected. Highly recommended.
—Heather Aimee O’Neil, After Ellen
Though Bozicevic’s work does terrify, and so, by extension, is rightly ‘about’ terror . . . Stars is more accurately (and happily) about what an émigré does, heart and eyes intact and hungry for the redemptive and the beautiful, after having experienced all that is contrary to the love and kindness (that can be) human beings.
—Nicole Mauro, Jacket
Ana Bozicevic’s work is sort of animist—it’s either about silence or the racket of the world. How does she do it? Clicks the switch to say it’s silent & it’s happening then on a distant tiny stage. She’s muttering, and then it’s a story and a very good one. I mean in poetry at some point you don’t know what the writer means. In Ana’s work I watch “it” vanish (all the time) & I trust it.
Ana Bozicevic’s work is filled with a wild freedom, and reading it often reminds me of reading Wallace Stevens, in that you know absolutely anything can happen next but whatever it is, it will be perfect. In her poems she expresses an attitude of solemn responsibility to history, both the world’s and her own, yet there is often a marvelous lightness, even playfulness about them. She is able to stretch language to its most ineffable and musical limits while maintaining a masterful grasp of the colloquial. These are not just technical matters. An émigré from reality (in the form of one of modern time’s most monstrously and moronically cruel wars) and a Cassandra, she is able to perceive with the eyes of language—then render with lyrical immediacy—the experience of our collective sleepwalking soul, who may well soon awaken to discover that its terror was not a dream.
Stars of the Night Commute haunts in three dimensions, knit by a below-words rumble in the sure rhythm of dreams. Many of the poems carry a shamanistic, elemental quality, as if real matter were articulating out of word-fragments. Bozicevic writes, “At the end of poetry the poem can no longer be remote.” If this is “the end of poetry,” perhaps poetry is, after all, reaching forward back to its beginning.
Ana Bozicevic’s poetry has everything—a mastery of language, a distinct and singular voice and a worldview so visionary and all-encompassing, so as to both terrify and astound. The words bristle with life, and they command the deepest reverence for the Ineffable, for pure Being. This poetry is clever without being shallow, and this is truly rare. Silence is my most honest response to her work, but a silence rooted in respect and awe for that which is truly great art.
Ana Bozicevic was born in Zagreb, Croatia in 1977. She emigrated to NYC in 1997.
Stars of the Night Commute is her first book of poems.