Review of Nooks Krannie’s Candied Pussy
Nooks Krannie’s Candied Pussy might be left, might be right. Hot or cold. This work, like much of the rest of us, is filled with unknowing. She, candidly, traverses between the two. This chapbook is nothing short of covert honesty. That is to say, Krannie is offering us slices of momentary fragility that say everything without saying anything at all. Delicate fragments of summed emotion are bled quietly such as those in ‘cold scars’:
you cum in my bathtub
and my skin feels cold.
you cum in my bathtub
and my scars feel cold.
Such structures feel as sedate and motionless as bathwater itself. But Krannie does do to deviate from this, and instead personifies herself into politics and metaphor for other fragile states, as it is in ‘depression’–‘I’m a long and severe recession in my home / growing on my couch, like fungus.’ Here, Krannie universalises depression to organic matter left to grow in isolation, perhaps a metaphor for lengthy neglected and untameable misery. Mould and food are lifelessly life giving to Nooks Krannie, and become foundations akin to the relationships we have with ourselves and with others over time. She expresses in ‘organic fuck’: ‘at least green ink looks organic and full of lust / something you can fuck and still have aged cheddar afterwards’. And in the more conversational, ‘sexes’, she writes, ‘what is this mold growing under your pants / take them off / i mean your pants’. Krannie interjects those elements of time and growth with, normally considered unsightly, matter like mold, the mold of other people, the mold growing into a sexless relationship, and soon. It’s an unusual outlook and a rather abstract comparison, but undoubtedly fitting. Equally ‘sexes’, is one such example of engaging with the humorous dialogue of her relationships, but whether this is her mind talking or genuinely spoken, is unknown. Her poems act as streams of consciousness that are consistently bombarded with new perceptions and thoughts that tag something relatable, but metaphorically intangible. Equally Candied Pussy straddles these thought processes with humorous poetic lyricism, which cements the experimentalist facets to this short collection. ‘masturbating in heavy snowstorm’ reminds of Andy William’s recording of ‘Music to Watch Girls Go By’, but devoid of upbeat groove and sweetness. Instead, Krannie plunges us ten inches deep into Canadian snow and sexual disquiet: ‘like schoolgirls / like schoolboys / masturbating ‘cause it’s better than watching you / watching me / watching’. These regressions into school-hood are reminiscent of heightened sexuality in school corridors but now confined in the present to the cool fingertips of sprawling Montréal. In turn, Krannie still stamps her present-day identity to Candied Pussy, with contractions and abbreviations designated for online spheres. She is undoubtedly internet-born, thus cementing her place in alt-lit. This too is another veil of disconcerting identity that closes off the face of Nooks Krannie. Perhaps this is why then, Krannie is successful in straining the melting of pot of relatable vs. personal identity in this work.
These short ‘personals’ are wonderful insults and teardrops at the human condition, the art of self-growth, the art of womanhood and the blessing/curse of feeling. Krannie writes to those who can ache in places they didn’t know existed inside of themselves. Her resolution in ‘slightly, idk’, absolves to claim ownership of herself, and of all the hands that have touched her. Krannie sweetens the coming and going of people, they too are ‘candy-coated’: ‘like all hands, like some hands (/) they are unbound. (/) they touch me sometimes (/) my hands (/) my pussy.’ Candied Pussy serves as a strangely life-affirming chapbook of chaotic and ordered thought that for any reader, may find emotionally disarming, but resonate with that unknowing and uncertainty of self-loss. This chapbook is an awkward, trembling depiction of millennial generation feeling and catharsis.
You can purchase Candied Pussy at Thistlemilk Press, http://www.thistlemilkpress.com/product/candied-pussy-by-nooks-grannie.
Nooks Krannie is a Palestinian/Persian female writer from Canada. Her work has appeared in Entropy, Eunoia Review, Alien Mouth, The Airgonaut, Fluland and other online and print journals. She tumbls at http://nkrannie.tumblr.com/ and instagrams @nookskrannie.
Lydia Hounat is a British-Algerian poet from Manchester, England. She has been published with Vanilla Sex Magazine, HOBART, HOAX Magazine, as well as other publications. A photographer and performance poet also, she has had her photography published in Peach Mag, and showcased her work at the Manchester Literature Festival. She is also a poetry editor for REALITY BEACH magazine and a founding editor for SOBER. You can find more of her work here at her website, www.lydiahounat.co.uk.