Indexical Elegies

Jon Paul Fiorentino (Coach House)

The book itself bears the design of an index card, from old wooden catalogue drawers with brass handles. The image works perfectly, recalling the certain anxiety of knowing how much one didn’t know about the location of information and the connections that went on and on, seemingly without end or sense. We’re all similarly indexed as individuals. “The word ‘I’ is apparently/an essential indexical unit,” writes Jon Paul Fiorentino in the title sequence of Indexical Elegies, the best part of a great book of poetry. With self-effacing humour, which runs throughout the book, he instructs: “Stash pain/in a volume of poetry/Where no one could possibly/find it.”

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