Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tanis MacDonald on Onion Man at Lemon Hound

Tanis MacDonald on Kathryn Mockler’s Onion Man

Onion Man, Kathryn Mockler. Tightrope Books, 2011.
by Tanis MacDonald

The individual poems of Kathryn Mockler’s Onion Man, which hover between a novel in verse and a long poem sequence, appear on the page in vertical chunks of text, rarely taking up a whole page or even venturing out into a long poetic line. One reviewer has compared the poems’ appearance to the cans of corn produced at the factory at which the protagonist works, and while that is true, the silence around each poem is as intriguing – and as fiercely frustrating – as the poems themselves. This unused space stands out as an eloquent refusal to explain; and it says everything about how young working-class women are trained to think about the future: as full of nothing.
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