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Claire Bateman

Claire Bateman

Claire Bateman's books are The Bicycle Slow Race, Friction, At the Funeral of the Ether, Clumsy, Leap, and Coronology (Etruscan Press, forthcoming). The title poem from Coronology is also an e-chapbook of the same name produced by World Voices. She has won the Louisiana Literature Poetry Prize, the New Millennium Writing Poetry Prize, a Tennessee Arts Commission Literary Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship, a Robert Frost Fellowship, a Writing Teacher Portfolio Award from Scholastic Arts, and a Pushcart Prize. She lives in Greenville, South Carolina.

Also by Claire Bateman

  • The Bicycle Slow Race (1991)
  • Friction (1998)
  • At the Funeral of the Ether (1998)
  • Clumsy (2003)
  • Leap (2005)
  • Coronology
 

Leap

LeapLeap

$14.00 paper | 57 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-930974-55-5
Publication Date: Oct 2005
Buy: Amazon.com | spdbooks.org

"I say Claire Bateman is weirder, deeper, weirdeeper, and in that way better than the poets some say are so damned good. Those poets just make me go ‘Huh?’ and ‘Oh, sure,’ whereas Bateman makes me go ‘Sheesh!’ and ‘Holy espresso!"
         —Mark Halliday

"To read Claire Bateman’s poetry is to realize that even the brightest among us are often confounded by life. In Leap, we are treated not just to a compelling conspiracy of “things,” like sofas and dresses, but also to meditations that place our worldly concerns in healthy perspective. Though Leap is her fifth book, Claire Bateman is still a secret to too many of us who love good poetry. This is wrong. And I’m telling as many people as I can about her."
         —Dennis Morton, co-host of The Poetry Show

"In Claire Bateman’s poems, everything—dumpster couches, "hysterical" keys, “the herringbone braid,”—is enveloped by a startling consciousness too boundary-less to maintain a sane grasp of reality. So the poems create new, fresher ones. What a beautifully nebulous and stinging slap in the face these poems enact, a pantheistic binge. Just where the hell are you taking me, Claire Bateman? Like some kind of ontological roller coaster, these poems are scary as hell, but you can’t help going back for more."
        —David Dodd Lee

"Bateman lets her imagination roam over the ways in which meaning accrues to things, mapping, as she says in 'Sugar Constellation': 'events & entities/that are larger on the inside than they are on the outside.'”
        —Richard Jeffrey Newman, NewPages.com

Poem

Leap

Consider the formal requirements of the braid.
The hair must be imagined as not only non-unitary, but tripartite as well;
the strands must be pre-visualized as twisted & interlaced: over, under,
    around, between, in an unbroken pattern;
the problem of securing the tip must be foreseen & overcome by
    conceptualizing a flexible filament that loops around itself.
To conceive of all of this, one must have already mastered the theories of
    unravelling & release; binding & protection; predestination & free will;
    wave action; narrative resolution, & the rupture of the trance state.
The distance between absolute braidlessness & the first braid was
    astronomical compared to the scarcely noticeable gap between the
    simple braid & the double braid; the herringbone braid; the warhorse’s
    mane plaited with tiny bells; braided tiaras with feathers & floating
    tourmalines; cornrows; ply-splitting; brocading; the bobbin; the shuttle;
    the cotton gin; Bob Marley; the polynomial; DNA; modal jazz
    harmonics; & the thirteen simultaneous plotlines of General Hospital.