Reviews in 200 Words

The Most of It by Mary Ruefle

In Poetry on October 3, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Peel down the walls of your skull in preparation—you’re going to need a blank slate to tackle this box of Pandora. Mary Ruefle is a literary brain surgeon, and The Most of It is her procedure. This poet’s-turned-prose collection of flash fiction is a fiercely dynamic new treatment for your condition, so read it carefully. Drink in the words on the pages, perhaps through your nose, as though you are a part of some undomesticated ritual—as though you are searching among the birds for some lost thought on the day of the first snow. You should feel a tingling sensation at the tips of your fingers and in the arches of your feet: this is to be expected. But should you find yourself pouring through each of these stories as quickly as you can, the anesthesia is wearing off. Most of it, at least. Stay asleep. And after your “procedure”, the world you once perceived will appear to have changed—most of it. But be keen: do not believe your eyes, your senses are too invested in lifelong lies Ruefle refutes. You will find yourself regretting that you are not an electron. And you are not the lightest of all particles, though it may feel that way.

-Eric Ellis

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