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Receipt : Poems (Paperback) (Karen Leona Anderson)
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receipt (n.) 1. A written or printed acknowledgement of receiving something, esp. of the payment of money. 2. A statement of the ingredients and procedure required for making a dish or an item of food or drink; seerecipe (n.)In her second collection, Karen Leona Anderson transforms apparently prosaic documentsrecipes and receiptsinto expressions of feminine identity. From eighteenth-century cookbooks to the Food Network, the recipe becomes a site for definition and disclosure. Like a theatrical script, the recipe directs action and conjures characters. Grace Kelly at a party. A divorcée in gorgeous disarray in Florida spreading a mangrove of the air”. In these poems, the pie is a cultural artifact and Betty Crocker, icon of domesticity, looms large. The kitchen is the stage upon which women prove themselves sufficient, or, more often than not, fail. For a woman receiving an unending stream of domestic direction, Whose best self/ could stand this instruction”? But from the little black dress ($49.99 Nordstroms) to an epidural ($25.00 co-pay), Anderson reveals life in the twenty-first century to be equally hampered and enabled by expenditures. To be a woman is to be, meringue-like, built around/ a café a house held up/ by rent car’s choke leased.” Amidst personal and domestic economies, wildness proliferatesbats, deer, ocelots, and funguslike illustrations on the outskirts of a medieval manuscript, reminding the reader that not all can be assimilated, eaten, or spent.Receipt is the lovechild of Anne Sexton and Adam Smith. In her taut but versatile voice, Anderson illuminates the ways in which our lives are both constrained by pieces of paper, and able to slip through the crevices of cultural detritus down to the rich current of animal feeling beneath.