In the House We Built, by Prairie M. Faul
An exploration of a trans girl’s time after coming out. Of reckoning with the outside world, relationships, self, the exterior world, and the house of self-creation her body is becoming.
Prairie M. Faul is a cajun poet and flagrant transsexual. She is a sag sun/virgo moon/cancer rising and the author of Burnt Sugarcane (2016, Gloworm Press) and In the House we Built (2017, Bottlecap). Her collected works can be found at motsduprairie.com and she can be found on twitter @motsduprairie. She is running from something.
'In the House We Built' is an interrogation of fraught arrivals & spectacled exits. Faul's decrees are rarely unacclimated wieldings of power but making of meaning & movements through their subject's body. Fragility is a constant in the work but not the debilitating kind, the fragile in Faul's collection speaks to a paper thin flesh vulnerable to all it enacts & that is enacted on it. 'In the House We Built' also relies on the bending of the subject, their desires, the body. There are moments of dissolve that work in this similar way; making the labor of being present between entrance & departure as malleable as possible. The collection sings with a kinship between the poems, characterized but "sibling-gestures" & Faul's voice transmutes lament to a more magnanimous scene, most urgently for her own safety. - Jayy Dodd, author of Mannish Tongues (Platypus Press, 2017) & The Black Condition ft. Narcissus (CCM, 2018)
What kept folding and unfolding inside me while I read Prairie M. Faul's 'In the House We Built' was the feeling of how the pause vibrated within the body / the book / the poem / the line / the body. I'm not talking about the pause as poetry tends to Instagram quote it or pin it to revelatory breath with an exclusively available superglue. In the textures of this book, the pause is wild and sad, uncovered or covered, an important movement through the undecipherable as it is, impossibly, touched. The intensity of being surrounded by the world. Is that how you would describe the pause? Or is it how you would describe the body? The flowers that push up through it. A radical though. "& only I / consume who I am," says Faul, from the thick scent of the page. Mostly, I want this or a small flame to convey: I have read this book. I have read it, but I have only just begun to read it, to learn and feel the intimate weight of what it is creating. The girl's chest, the soil, language, piles, what it loves. How endless it might be. - Carrie Lorig, author of The Pulp vs. The Throne