cover image As We Know

As We Know

Amaranth Borsuk and Andy Fitch. Subito (SPD, dist.), $16 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-0-9906612-1-4

Authorship and embodiment are conceptually splayed open in this collaborative day journal, winner of the Subito Book Prize, as poets Borsuk (Between Page and Screen) and Fitch (Sixty Morning Talks) utilize the tools of erasure, a poetic subgenre in which text from an existent document is excised to create a new literary work. Rather than beginning from a published work, Borsuk manipulates Fitch’s summer diary, which includes entries from New York City, Berlin, and a family visit. The book renders Fitch’s quotidian musings in geeky-fun design, resembling a datebook with text scattered across the page; phrases are struck out or absent, but most congeal into stuttering sentences. This treatment maintains the curiosity of reading a stranger’s journal while turning the mundane into the bizarre beauty of “someone/ is going./ I’ll squeeze/ beneath the couch. There’s just enough room/ for us.” Beyond the textual play, there are greater questions at work, drawing from philosopher Roland Barthes’s call for a “corrected banality” in which the body enters the text and reaching an au courant reworking of gendered appropriation. “I’m starting to remember how I/ edit best: changing a lot of things a little bit,” an entry declares. They may be little edits, but they add up to an engrossing read. [em](Dec.) [/em]