The Moon & Other Inventions

The Moon & Other Inventions - Book CoverThe Moon & Other Inventions.  BlazeVOX Books, 2012.  Available here.

*Finalist for the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s Elgin Award*

*Nominated for the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Book Award*

*Nominated for the San Francisco State University Poetry Center Book Award*

Praise for The Moon & Other Inventions:

In The Moon and Other Inventions, Kristina Marie Darling has constructed a one-sixteenth scale palace of enchanted footnotes.  She writes, “Behind a little door the mechanism was turning and turning.”   So too do the parts of this book turn and turn:  readers will find themselves inside of a dream that is also a three- (or four- or five-) dimensional space.  Emily Dickinson opens a door to find Alice Liddell, who opens a door to find Lorine Niedecker.  Who could resist such knobs and dials and keys?

—Angela Sorby, author of Bird Skin Coat

Darling creates a lattice of explicitly feminine apperception around the works of Joseph Cornell.  The result is a haunting parascription, of a piece with Cornell’s metaphysical idiom while substantially Othering any sustained encounter with his work.

—G.C. Waldrep, author of Goldbeater’s Skin

The fine poems of Kristina Marie Darling embrace the complexities of telemetry: how to read the stars and the heart, peregrinations, P and R waves, a universe implied. Underneath the text, underneath narrative, Darling calculates what matters, and the matter of a woman endeavoring to build a perfect, delicate machine. Would that be a poem? A telescope? A metaphor? All of the above.

—Alan Michael Parker, author of Long Division

In this age of hyperlinkages, the footnote has acquired a nostalgic sheen, similar to that of the optical instruments and gears that populate The Moon and Other Inventions. Joining a group of contemporary works that investigate the lyric and narrative potentials of the footnote, this sequence adds the thrill of ekphrasis to a suggestive paratextual zone.

—Jena Osman, author of The Network

The Moon & Other Inventions takes us back in time and into a parallel universe whose stars are footnotes, though they don’t seek to validate so much as subvert our common authorities. Kristina Marie Darling knows that time is close to the divine, and likely beyond divinity’s reach: [t]he clock within this cathedral recorded the movements of minor stars. But from its interior a series of unfamiliar notes emerged, that ominous ringing. She knows that science gets curious, too: [o]ne of the lesser known experiments, in which scientists were fascinated with the involuntary movements of the female heart. She knows that the mechanical doesn’t separate us from the natural as did the emperor’s nightingale–the phonograph, with its projection of unusual bird calls, was regarded as an evil device–but brings us closer–“I had wanted to preserve the measurements, their pristine order. Each of the charts was a tiny mirror held to the sun’s oblique orbit.” In this impressionistic steampunk elegy to Caroline Herschel and all the Alice girls, we might oscillate unchecked between the story-rich points of heaven’s dome.

—Danielle Pafunda author of My Zorba

Reviews of The Moon & Other Inventions:

“Darling’s poems are a collage of contradictions, and in these contradictions, we see our real selves reflected back at us.  Her new book, like her past work, is fragmented, elegant, hallucinatory, old worldly, complex, and incredibly stunning—a collection of ekphrastic poems cluttered with precious trinkets and rare artifacts.”—PANK Magazine.

“Delicate, dangerous, and again, lovely.”—Poet Hound.

“It is brilliant and beautifully written… If science can be made beautiful, Darling has done that here.”—The Prick of the Spindle.

“Irregardless of how you choose to read this collection—as a grand Victorian narrative, or a fragmented artifact of a false history—disregard my own arranged collection of thoughts: Kristina Marie Darling’s poems are enchanting, haunting, and make whatever assemblage you might impose upon it strikingly real.”—Heavy Feather Review.

“Kristina Marie Darling is a master of footnote as lyrical narration, footnote as poem. The Moon& Other Inventions is perhaps the best demonstration of her mastery, using the artwork of Joseph Cornell as a remarkably appropriate framework…The Moon & Other Inventions invites readers to crawl in, making it effortless to experience and contribute to the stories Darling imagines for us.”—Spittoon:  A Journal of Contemporary Forms.

“Darling’s style is perfectly attuned to this project. Her prose is lovely, graceful, and evocative. She gives the reader just enough detail without spilling over into melodrama or too much telling. Darling is making a name for herself with these inventive collections; whenever I see her name on a book, I know it will be something new and different and enjoyable.” —Bookslut.

“By completing The Moon & Other Inventions, Darling makes the parallels between her poetry and the work and life of Joseph Cornell clear (fascinations of birds, collage, the tactile), while still maintaining an arresting artistic autonomy. But of the two, Darling displays a much clearer sense of self-confidence—a willingness to not only experiment, but to experiment over and over in the public eye, offering more poetry in the last two years than some poets do in a lifetime.” —The Declaration.

“The delight of a poet playing with the cultural knick-knacks fancied by Cornell’s imagination has never been on more rampant display. Darling’s Inventions are at once intimate and inviting, full of speculation and sure to inspire the imagination of readers in their own engagement with Cornell’s work.”—NewPages.

“The Moon & Other Inventions: Poems After Joseph Cornell is a fully enchanting if somewhat mysterious collection of poems, written entirely as footnotes, by the prolific Kristina Marie Darling….Darling is as inviting as she is cryptic and ultimately, she is offering us the opportunity to do our own imagining alongside her.”—The Rumpus.

Interviews about The Moon & Other Inventions:

BlazeVOX Books “15 Questions” Interview

The Stanza:  A Little Room for Poetry & the Writing Life

Additional Features:

The Kenyon Review New and Noteworthy Books


Three poems in ILK Journal

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.