Ellyn Maybe's "The Cowardice of Amnesia" is a sparkling debut from a poet who's already proven herself on the spoken word circuit. She dazzles her readers with streams of un/sub/consciousness, drowns them in murky-beautiful word rivers, yells "catch!" as she throws out the darts of her sub/urban imaginings and lovingly lunges at all manner of hypocrisy and cant.
Maybe's stuff calls Gregory Corso and Allen Ginsberg (at least, the less self-indulgent Ginsberg) richly to mind. Her lines create loads of tension. Her images by turns wound and salve. Her use of anaphora (beginning successive lines with same phrase) is at once classical and intense. Her poems are funny as hell, but hell isn't very funny now, is it? She makes the personal universal and the universal personal. You will take her very personally. You will have to.
"The Cowardice of Amnesia" is edited by Exene Cervenkova (aka Cervenka) spoken word luminary and former lead singer of the seminal L.A. band X.
Listen to Maybe read her poem "Yom Kippur Blues" from the compilation "My Tongue Is A Red Carpet" (Alibi 13).