Lara Glenum, The Hounds of No

by Michael Peverett

In The Hounds of No (2005) Lara Glenum makes a brattish, body-popping forcemeat out of the world's religions, folk-tales, celebrity, theory and the other junk narratives inside our heads.

     Snow-White in Versace

     The glass coffin, it was clogged with hair. My meaty kept on growing.
     The prince yanked me. My fingernails became a six-foot nest of

     curl-i-ques. I was eight. I lived with seven men. Time had not been
     butchered out successfully by the queen. The queen sighed,

     embroidering on the tool of the king. Doodle-doo. The king gave queenie
     a looking glass. To corset her milky eye into a fit. To absent her

     from court life. Here, he cooed. The chunk of apple dislodged from her
     shrieking crotch. The mirror, at least, had pity on the pearl-inlaid handle.

     Of her sobbing knife. I did not. I offed her, the pleather-clad vixen.
     With my crystalline nerve-coat. A jerking foxtrot. Diamond-tipped shoes.

Time having been butchered out by the poet, there are no eras in the narratives. Persons are not so much born as split off, already fully sexual, and as instantly dismembered, orgasmically spawning pluralities. The narratives flourish puerile jokes; poetic colouring is relegated to a side-effect. This one gets a bit stuck doodling on "queen" and "king", eventually kicking itself free - neither funny nor clever - with "queenie". Then the snow-white but frowsty heroine washes, as it were, the blood on to her hands and brilliantly steps forth in high fashion.

Most people relish The Hounds of No for its fit-anywhere meaty lines, which catch your eye on every page.

     The sky will appear onstage in full war regalia
     The horizon will be a thick caramel smear with bombs bubbling out

"Shrieking" is maybe the word that unites all the horrors and delights of this poetry:

     The embryos inside you rode around on conveyor belts, shrieking with glee.

                 the girl found
the skin of God
hidden away in a velvet box. Early mornings, she'd put it on
                                                                    and run shrieking
                                                          through the dried-out riverbeds.

Action Books published Lara Glenum's The Hounds of No in 2005 (ISBN 0-9765692-1-3), followed in 2009 by Maximum Gaga. UK readers can order them from SPD.

the pleather-clad vixen.

my tongue jumped out of my lips on that line, some sort of nervous reaction, a sharp, electric shock at the underside base of my weird lapper. giggling followed.
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