Amblyopia
Jena Osman
48 pages
ISBN 0-939691-09-4
$8.00

 

"Amblyopia is an invitation to a new architecture, where spaces are construed with artifacts of the mind--favorite haunts, obscure discoveries, longings, persons and objects--as well as vital responses to the habitat it creates. Each gesture leaves a trace representing a kind of revolution or paragraph on a relatively fragile topic. The writing is precise and lush. That we get to follow Jena Osman into her theatre of invention is an exhilirating pleasure of the first order."

-- Ann Lauterbach


"Amblyopia is a thoughtful and compelling meditation on object relations. 'The eye follows the lines and comes to its own conclusions away from the object.' Under the rubric of impaired vision, the physical eye that receives images prefigures the cognitive I that construes the images it perceives. 'Portraiture is the next task, a label for each one.' Yet if identity is wanton in its reflexivity, it is also wanting, i.e. refractive, in its apprehension of the real. 'The object perhaps a result of a glimmer, an attraction to things that shine or reflect, though at every turn we find the literally descriptive valences of our perceptions mediated by their stark (un)representability. In light of which, it is with admirable calm and care that these poems propose 'a knowledge beyond familiarity' -- from which we 'must learn to desire what is outside [our] desire.'"

-- Ted Pearson


"Amblyopia continually makes the periphery, as if that were the edge of the object, at which something/ onself is seen. The faculty of perception is itself time, as the shape in/ or the writing; and in that sense it is an object observing itself. Osman says an action can't be remembered that is out of control; yet the coherence which is 'given' experience, or lack of coherence, is lighted or observed 'from the inside': 'What is inside after having stayed inside for this length. Light brings memory out from the inside.'"      

-- Leslie Scalapino