The Radical/Monstrous Maternal

While we were away, we were secretly/separately reading and writing about the same engrossing book. Here are our thoughts on Third-Millennium Heart (Action Books).

Jace Brittain at Quarterly West:

In a book of hyperactive opposites, Olsen positions the reader between the mirrors of one of its obsessions: mise en abyme. This space feels flooded by densely repetitive imagery and the elusive signifiers of the book’s constantly recoding vocabulary, and this space can—in the next moment—seem devastatingly empty. The subject and the form of the book both reflect this instability, and the most frequently marvelous effect employed by Olsen and Jensen is the way in which the images most brimming with energy and meaning carry the threat of imminent meaninglessness.

Jayme Russell at Heavy Feather Review:

Third-Millennium Heart is awash with red blood, black blood, a flood of names and namelessness. The poems pulse with RED. A stream flows from the poems, filling the exo-heart as the word “mother,” “mother,” “mother” runs RED. With each line the map of the heart grid beats. This heart is growing through a demon incantation. From this black void the wax replica heart melts in reverse, reconfiguring its structure from the bloody RED drops.

Read the full reviews at Quarterly West and Heavy Feather Review.

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