Friday Review: Fairy Tales in Electri-city

3 Feb

So you all know that the first book of my reading list this year was  Fairy Tales in Electri-city by Francesca Lia Block. I’m not going to lie to you…what drew me to this book initially was its small stature and visually engaging cover. Look how cool it is:


Truth be told I also expected this book to be like the usual poetry I like. I’m big into narrative and into monologues in poetry. I sometimes like to call them deep breath poems because I have to take a deep breath before I start to be able to read them aloud and they usually make me need to take a deep breath when I finish. I’m the experimental type, meaning that my work is fairly linear and easy to understand. This is the kind of work I generally enjoy reading and what I expected to get from this book.

While Block’s poems are like stories, there is something whimsical and abstract about them. They are each a page or two long, which isn’t difficult considering its a pocket sized book.  Admittedly, I easily get distracted, it the problem with our 140-character generation but I often found myself drifting while reading this. Most of Block’s poems are about love, the absence, seeking or regret of it. Each poem is beautiful its way but the quietness of the work sort of lulls you, the way a good bedtime story would. There is something about these poems that is both interesting and boring; beautiful and plain and demanding yet easy. Does this make sense? Over all, I didn’t really enjoy the book. This just wasn’t my aesthetic. I’m definitely a punch in the gut and then a sweet kiss as opposed to all sweet kisses. Has anyone read this book? Thoughts?

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