Experiments I Should Like Tried At My Own Death - Caryl Pagel

Caryl Pagel.jpg
Caryl Pagel.jpg

Experiments I Should Like Tried At My Own Death - Caryl Pagel


Perfect-bound. 80 pp, 7 x 8 in
ISBN: 978-0-9795905-2-8
Publication date: 2012

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Caryl Pagel’s Experiments I Should Like Tried At My Own Death provides a posthumous glimpse into a room where poems are knocking inside the walls and the ascending reader floats out into gaps of particulars, particles, and parts—or “Names you will not recognize” owing to the relentless intercalation of bodiless bodies. Here is spectral evidence to be used in peeling away the argument that we don’t exist. Alternatively, here are “vestments” to clothe that existence, whose character and purpose are repeatedly reshaped atop a discontinuous ridge of occult figuration. Look out for that. – William Fuller

In Caryl Pagel’s Experiments I Should Like Tried at My Own Death, the act of naming presses out through the body to the natural world rendering the most poignant questions of the book those that concern agency: what happens to self and substance when the demarcation of names transpires. For example, in “Spirit Cabinet” Pagel writes: “What I live with in      this house    is mine     I did not make it What did     What is     mine made      me.” Here self is house is language. Such folding and unfolding calls to mind Heidegger’s concept of language-as-house-of-being, where “In its home man dwells. Those who think and those who create with words are the guardians of this home.” Occupying the position of both interior and exterior, architect and structure, these poems perform a threshold demonstrating the necessity of what is made possible and impossible—both—through naming’s articulation. – Karla Kelsey

Caryl Pagel is the author of Experiments I Should Like Tried At My Own Death. Her poems and essays have appeared in AGNIDevil’s LakeJacket2, and Thermos, among other journals. She is the co-founder and editor of Rescue Press and a poetry editor at jubilat.