Five Reasons to Read: Fake Knife, Dalton Day
Review by Amelia Goldberg
You will learn to see the fake knives in your life, sharp without cutting. They are in your bloodstream, in rays of sunlight, in stars, in wind. These poems will cut you open yet never draw blood.
If you don't already love St. Vincent, you will; if you do, even better. “Fake Knife” grew out of Dalton's experience at one of her concerts, where as he writes, she gave him “permission to wear the static in my spine like a coat” and allowed him space to land. This chapbook is not a restatement of St. Vincent's music, nor even ideologically indebted to it. Instead, “Fake Knife” is a loving tribute, vibrating in the space between songs, built on a foundation of tense electric beats. It will make you want to listen to the original, equally great in different ways. (“Cheerleader” is my new jam!)
Each poem is built like a shattered window, punctuated with a spiderweb of cracks. Reading this chapbook is like walking through an abandoned house. You will wonder whether it is scarier inside or out.
If you're not a little scared of your cellphone, you will be – as you should. The opening poem, “Nimble,” reminds readers of the “digital wound” of seeing your mother's face on the screen of your phone. “Rubble” assures us that “these pixels / do not have as much worth / as we do.” This is an intimate chapbook, where the most important emotions pass between the narrator and “you,” the reader; technology is one of many things that get in the way. Take comfort in the fact that it can never replace the touch of snow, or sunlight, or human hands.
“look / my hair is a planet / being struck with meteors / and other bird dreams”