Allegory of the Supermarket
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Allegory of the Supermarket


Title Details

Pages: 104

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in



Pub Date: 01/01/1999

ISBN: 9-780-8203-2068-7

List Price: $22.95

Related Subjects

POETRY / American / General

Allegory of the Supermarket


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  • Description
  • Reviews
Stephanie Brown offers a hint of something curiously ominous through the sly epigraph she chooses from Henry James—"The amount of thought they give to their clothing, the people who are afraid of looking frivolous!" But we should already have known something unsettling was about to happen from this book's title, which suggests the devastating playfulness at work in these poems. One poem deals with vacationing librarians: "it's not so simple that we're prim and went to the exotic / Though perhaps that's what the story really is." What the story "really is" is sometimes what it seems but with a twist; and it is sometimes so ironically envisioned you would hardly believe this was California. These poems are indeed allegorical, but this is a thoroughly modern allegory dealing with a frighteningly up-to-date set of situations.

Here's a poetic voice calling out from a postmodern arcade, where 'each day the sun shines steadily, no more than is necessary,' toward a post-California arcadia, where 'sacrifice, order and love' take on frightening proportions. Richocet off the culture with Stephanie Brown in this debut book, until each poem stops and you are thrown forward, back to your own humanity. That's where one of our voices says, 'Most of all, I would have harmed the soldier whose job it was to kill me.'

—Jane Miller

Brown's tart insights . . . show that humor can sting as well as beguile.


About the Author/Editor

STEPHANIE BROWN lives in San Clemente, California. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Pavement, and Yellow Silk.