Near Polaroid in pacing, Emma Healey’s formally distinctive prose poems hew closely to the texture of cities, to various weathers of cohabitation and conflict and anxiety and intellection. The shuffled-deck texture of these story-poems interacts with footnotes of withheld scenery, sometimes ominous, buoying the narrative from below. Science-fictional in parts, bracingly candid in others, reality testing is a recurrent theme, and to have achieved such strangeness and relatability at once would be a kind of proof.— Cam
Using a wide variety of subjects (from Tinder to pharmaceutical research testing methods) as jumping-off points, Emma Healey's provocative new collection of prose poems, Stereoblind, explores the urgent themes of feminism, mental illness, sexuality, artistic practice, alienation, connection, technology, and time. In the world of these poems, the past, present and future seem to overlap. Things exceed their limits, facts are not always true, borders are not always solid, and events seem to write themselves into being. An on-again off-again real estate sale nudges a quartet of millennial renters into an alternate universe of multiplying signs and wonders; an art show at Ontario Place may or may not be as strange and complex (or even as "real") as described; the collusion of a hangover and a blizzard carry our narrator on a trancelike odyssey through Bed Bath & Beyond. "It is a thrill to be alive in a world like this, where every problem has a multiplicity of solutions, an honest light spread evenly across them." The lived and the written seem almost contiguous in Emma Healey's anxious, skewed, but familiar universe, the poems rife with an intense species of hyper attention John Ashbery once described as "the experience of experience." Using the prose poem as their home base, these poems construct an inventory of ontological disturbance -- one that is fraught, honest, playful, complex, and incomplete all at once.