Sheri-D Wilson's poetry titillates and provokes
(Arsenal Pulp Press)$15.95
You think about sex every 20 minutes, that is, if the research can be
trusted. But are we so reliably horny because our imaginations are hyper-libidinous
or because our world is filled with hedonic clues and prompts? Could
virtually anything be a phallic symbol if it were long and wide enough?
Are we constantly soliciting pleasure or is pleasure seeking us?
Sheri-D Wilson's latest collection of poems, Between Lovers, will have
you reevaluating your surroundings. By celebrating the happy conjunction
of our innate eroticism and our vulnerability to the intense sensuality
of our environment, Wilson encourages us to indulge in our fantasies
and to liberate our impulsiveness. Wilson dispels our apprehensions
by evoking the ubiquity of sex to neutralize taboos; she is a comforting
counterpart of the 20-minute rule: sex is on the forefront of our consciousness-let's
loosen up about it.
Between Lovers is a stark sensitization to the sexual extravagance that
is inherent in both our personal and private lives. With her fourth
collection of poetry, Wilson, Canada's leading "action" poet gives us
poetry that gyrates and teases with courageous cadence. She's a performer
with a superlative reputation for rhythmic, anthemic verse; you feel
it even without seeing her read live. A few pages in and it's understood
why she requests we read the poems aloud; she supplies us with the groove
to comply. "I Am a Surf Rave Girly-Girrl" is as fun to chant as a Seussian
rhyme, as is: "I can breathe under water like a tropical fish / I got
porthole protection, disguised in every direction /Them that know me
call me Girly De~lish / I've got an uncrackable IP address, oh yes,
I got swish."
With a sharp sagacity for all things stimulating, Wilson, the ultra-beatnik
of sexual-feminist lyricism, renders a tactile sensuality over both
French and Canadian geographies. Despite her devotion to the variations
of the word "surreal," Sheri-D executes poetry dynamic in style and
expression ranging from a heady, sexy gospel like, "Free the Church"
to a slow, and sweet character sketch/nostalgic tribute to Alberta in
"Fortis Et Liber". Regardless of the approach, her poetry is uniformly
freethinking, revealing and potently female. She's got a fixed gift-a
fusion of sex, music and optimism-but she experiments with its wrapping,
through form or through musing.
Though Wilson is dubbed as the "Mama of Dada" and is regarded for her
innovation with shaped free verse and wild stage presence, Between Lovers
is an attestation that her work is not solely esthetic. Subdued by pieces
like "The Blue Balls of God" and "A Brief History of My Cunt" are moderate,
conservative poems like "Face of Freedom" and "First Words" in which
she challenges politics with heart.
Not that a piece like "Panty Patrol," a poem wherein she describes the
frustration of an apathetic lover, is without substance, but Between
Lovers is about holding hands just as much as it is about doing "the
nasty." There's more than shock value here. Don't mistake her poetry
for insincere purged perversion-it's really the careful, modest words
of a cougar. She's as lovey as she is lusty, as brilliant as she is
brash. Nonetheless, if Wilson were your true love, she'd still be your