Main Street Rag, 2016
Micro-Review by Jayme Russell
Katie Manning’s Tasty Other is a mixture of fever dream and fairy tale. Something other is growing inside the mother. Something desperate and dreaded grows and grows. Sometimes the gestation period is longer than humanly possible. Sometimes the baby is animal. The baby is alive. Its heartbeat is startling. The baby is dead. Dismembered. The baby is a storm inside the womb. Poem after poem the fetus is transformed, like a mutating fairy tale.
Throughout the book, the refrain of “once upon a time, there was a mother” reappears. In footnotes we see that this short line isn’t quite what it seems. It must be expanded. Each word must be examined, must be explained. The words morphs with different definitions, growing like the fetus. The body of text morphs like the fetus. The book takes on the same magical transformation. It is a changing mother.