Be a Dead Girl
By Krystal Languell
LETTERPRESSED, HAND-BOUND CHAPBOOK / $10
Krystal Languell’s deadpan wit in Be A Dead Girl subtly conveys the violence that happens with subjects are transformed into objects. In these poems, an “I” that is always in flux moves through a world that’s unsure where things end and people begin, and negotiates this uncertainty with quips that are seductively light on the tongue. The sly aphorisms embedded in Languell’s language are by turns visually stunning (“Beauty dissolves to make fire green”), hilarious (“Joyride to your grave”) and chillingly expressive of the perils of consumerism (“But I hemorrhage money privately”). There are refrains reminiscent of Pop songs, and a sensual phraseology that Emily Dickinson might use if she were tasked with writing advertisements for war machines. These poems invite the reader, at her own risk, to create continuity from a chaos that is all the more terrifying for its elusiveness: “If you came here for a story/put this in your mouth.”
Krystal Languell was born in South Bend, Indiana. She is the author of the books Call the Catastrophists (BlazeVox, 2011) and Gray Market (Coconut, 2015) and the chapbooks Last Song (dancing girl press, 2014), and Be a Dead Girl (Argos Books, 2014). In early 2014, Fashion Blast Quarter was published as a poetry pamphlet by Flying Object. A core member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, she also edits the journal Bone Bouquet. She is a 2014-2015 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council workspace resident.