Reviews in 200 Words

Post Moxie by Julia Story

In Poetry on June 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Moxie is courage and spirit and skill and know-how. It’s also an old-school soft drink. Either way, it suggests a blend of bitter and sweet: necessity and indulgence. And all the things that come after. These blocks of text are balanced: spare and loaded at the same time. Tiny stories: everything you need to know about the unnamed characters that make up these strings of events. “Bad to the Bone” plays overhead and embarrasses me. This is the worst first date ever, worse than the sad man with the trashed Firebird in his backyard. These people are normal: usual, mediocre, Midwest. But the thing about normal is that everyone has sharp emotions—everyone has bubbles that pop. Every fucking thing about me is designed to melt your heart. The speaker over-thinks things, like we all do; she wrestles with the inside and the out. There are membrane-colored sweaters in this world, and dog food and ash and falling leaves. There are also ribbons of asphalt and a folded white dress. These are small warnings and lessons: this is what goes on after the ordinary—in reflection and anger and celebration.

-Micah Ling

  1. Revision of previous comment:

    The use of both kinds of moxie to describe Story's exciting, first collection is well-considered and spot-on — I've admired Julie's poetry since IU days, and it's wonderful to see it reviewed in such a precise, succinct manner. Bravo!

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