Review of Meat (Little Red Leaves, 2015)

… over at the British poetry review Hix Eros, 7, pp. 14-22. Review by Sarah Hayden. Here’s a short excerpt:

“Seita’s poem seeks to pull us into engagement with the matter of meat. Its mission is charged — ethically and politically — and it stages its polemic affectively, performatively. Pivoting with uncommon poise between archness, outrage and worldly incomprehension, it compels us to hear, smell, touch and see all that we conspire only to taste. […]

In Meat, Nature still exerts a certain appeal, sure, but “on looser look it is bogus and studied” (p.3). Evacuated of its Romantic grandeur, it hovers over the poem — not even a spectral presence that haunts — but a nice idea that hangs around: an apologetic Caspar. And yet, notwithstanding our cynicism, under it all there is something buzzing:

the world one could say is full of tigers and shawls and clouds
but tigers on stilts that slink as manikin controllers appear
who can switch and push buttons that’s easy but underneath there’s a pulse
of wasps throbbing in secret nests. that always gives hope to the visitors

[…]

Seita’s feminism is not a thing apart from her poetry. In Meat, as in much of the rest of her work, it is interfused with and intensifies other agendas. So, even though Meat undoubtedly addresses a 21st century environment of late-capitalist global agri-business, it points backwards too — knotting contemporary industrial practices into a long history of crimes against other bodies.”

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