My Beautiful Beds
Stephanie Rioux
Insert Press, Parrot Series 2010
Review by Amanda Yates

Stephanie Rioux speaks in the language of plants. Not our language about plants, but the language of the plants themselves. Her language bubbles up from the aquifers, sifting through mud, and silt and dead leaves, oozing and unfurling on to the page in the neat squares of flower beds.

To the untrained ear, the language appears incomprehensible, the babbling of a creek, but if you listen you'll find music there; language folding and unfolding unto itself, pulling and sucking like the waves.

She plays with sounds. She plays with meanings and words. But, as in the fairy kingdom, play is not always without threat. Her language, circuitous and disorienting, functions as shield and as warning. Using our same materials and elements, there are things in this world beyond our understanding, things that flip and shift and bite, things that are invisible to us, even though they have been with us all along, speaking. And if we were wise, we would listen:

"last hook a veil of words, aye no longer discuss ya asuch; fer each one outs a some cents in a keyed tin of lifey, fifing margeld firs, en these are wondrus..."

© Amanda Yates, 2010