“The antithesis of nature, but au contraire, what I mean is wild n
free.” Get liberated by Tractatus, Elise Houcek’s neo-bimbo limbo
through “the alluring trash/meanness of the feminine.” The atmospheric
drama and high hilarity of Lara Glenum meets “Britney Spears’s SOS.
Or a signal to the wolves, the dogs, the moon, anything chrome.”
Immersive as a mansion of mirrors, Houcek plays through classic
poem-stuff—beauty, memory, romance, and youth—until we arrive at the
“joke-bed” of being, the fun house where language goes on holiday,
gets a makeover, and comes home as philosophy.
Elise Houcek’s Tractatus is a complete retaliation against material
abstraction. It’s unapologetic and loud, casting literary metal into
stones and lexical stones into copper or ice. These deviating
vignettes of Houcek: they melt. In August. They flash at us. In
September. Today, they disobediently languish on the page of our eyes
like a “slit of white duvet embroidered” on our “navy blue” reading
glasses. With Houcek’s work, everything could become impossible again.
VI KHI NAO
Elise Houcek is a writer, artist, and recent graduate of the MFA program at the University of Notre Dame. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The New Delta Review, The Comstock Review, DIAGRAM, Prelude, Posit, Afternoon Visitor, Always Crashing and other journals and has been supported by residencies from Art Farm and a fellowship from the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute for Environmental Education. Her poetry chapbook, So Neon Was the Rope, was a semi-finalist for the 2021 Tomaž Šalamun Prize from Verse and will be published by Osmanthus Press in 2022. TRACTATUS (Spuyten Duyvil, 2021) is her first “book.”