This book-length, mixed form poem wanders between written correspondence and fractured speech, an act of repetition and refusal. What contains the body? And then: what does the body contain? The unnamed narrator grasps at the other characters that populate this decaying beach landscape: an absent tenant, a sinister Whale Bone Man, and a woman in the distant woods who lives in a house on chicken feet.
Working within traditions of folklore and epic poetry, The Bone and the Body takes us into and through and between this surreal, disembodied consciousness, pointing back toward the book itself and the relationship between a reader and a text. What contains these words? And what do these words contain? The relationship between text/house and reader/tenant is a slippery one, and this book inhabits it.
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Praise For The Bone and the Body
"What presides over Kochman's haunting and gorgeous debut is a great IF, cracked with regret and longing. This IF crunches under every line, like leaves or bones. This IF is a home, unnerved and unbeheld. This IF, rafted from nowhere, like the ghosts of gods, like hope, looms mightily over Kochman’s collection. If I ever met this IF on the side of the road I imagine it ancient and chirping like a newborn. I imagine I would kneel down beside it, for Kochman has officially turned the conditional clause holy."
—Sabrina Orah Mark
"In Laura Kochman’s stunning debut, The Bone and the Body, readers enter a watery space, a seaside house: a mouth becomes a doorway and the door is open here where you morph into your house and bones, its—and it is wandering. Even your horse runs and you are left parceling out exactly what you founder on, as it is something, yes, something, so felt. Through piercing voicing, you question the tenancy of your house, body, and bones with ferocity and delight. Finally, you and your house are boned to earth with feet that move lyrically and shelter us back into our own frames, our own known hands—some magic here, of this I am certain."
"The poems, and the figures within them, overlap, like a concept album: everything is connected. Each poem feeds a central idea, but more than building a narrative, Kochman creates a feeling."
Read the full review at Sabotage Reviews >
"The Bone and the Body is feverish, up-all-night reading, like stumbling across a photo-realistic depiction of something you thought was a lonely, isolated-to-you experience and lifting groggy head and red eyes hours later feeling both satiated and ravenous."
Read the full review at Fruita Pulp >
"A Book that walks the shoreline between the magical and the real, Laura Kochman's The Bone and the Body draws its power from its ability to simultaneously deconstruct and construct a place of possibility."
Read the full review at Bayou Magazine >
This is the science of bodies: the shape and the frame, the altogether. The not. The soft part stretching over the hard form. Leaving a little bone behind, the body the occupied or the body the occupier…
Poems from The Bone and the Body have appeared in alice blue review, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Jellyfish Magazine, [PANK], treehouse magazine, our dear departed elimae, Sixth Finch, Spittoon, CutBank, Coconut, Bayou Magazine, and Tarpaulin Sky Magazine.