(nevertheless enjoyment
by Elizabeth Bryant

ISBN: 978-0-9792999-9-5
Perfect Bound, $13.00
Publication Date: March 1, 2010
5.5 x 7.75 inches, 74 pages

Individuals: Order directly from Small Press Distribution,
1-800-869-7553, or Amazon.

Bookstores: Order through Small Press Distribution.

With vivid language that denies easily attained unambiguous and unlayered emotion, the poems in (nevertheless enjoyment examine and reexamine what satisfaction means through the lens of intimate experience. From “[s]lumps in the middle where history is” to “[t]he drab-colored female being more of a challenge,” Elizabeth Bryant portrays details of life’s challenges in surprising and, at times, unsettling terms. Central to this work of serial prose poetry is the concept of jouissance, sometimes loosely translated as “enjoyment.” Bryant uses the word to convey not only pleasure, happiness, achievement and satisfaction, but also fixation, difficulty, obstruction and conflict. These nuanced poems convey the sense that a precise understanding of jouissance is elusive and may be fully perceived only in hindsight. Showing the influence of writers such as Lyn Hejinian, Leslie Scalapino and Carla Harryman, Bryant’s direct prose illustrates a series of bittersweet and timeless vignettes. (nevertheless enjoyment provides evidence of an ever-present life force that is at once ineffable and brutally powerful.

"(nevertheless enjoyment is as heavy as any heart or head has a right to be, ripped out and sent screaming into a future that doesn’t resemble the past enough, that doesn’t resemble a future we could have predicted enough.  But that vivid, red echo – the life we thought we were living, the life we thought we had a right to continue living – bursts out quietly in every piece in this tight collection, fraught with the harrowing realization that we wake up every day to a brand new day. (nevertheless enjoyment exists as a hymn to forgetting, a hope that the lives we’ve led will fade away behind us and allow us to live new lives, while simultaneously railing against the fact that this must be so."
–Nate Pritts, h_ngm_n

"The other day I was standing behind a couple in a grocery line, and what I saw between them was the space between two phrases in Elizabeth Bryant's (nevertheless enjoyment – both a gap unbridgeable in that Zeno's paradox way, and a connection made brilliant by currents of thought and significance. And now I see Bryant's interphrasal spaces everywhere, and when I don't see them I make them. Rather than penning journal entries after reflection upon a day's events, Bryant pushes thought through her days in this book, opening its consecutivity, complexity, redundancy and simultaneity in charged paragraph forms. Through episodes with birds, lovers and ideas, (nevertheless enjoyment sums to a field guide to sentience, a resource to take into the grocery stores, meadows, workplaces, and bedrooms of one's days, and a reminder that meanings are made, not found things – and not even things really, as 'thing' is the most unforgivably general and empty of our nouns. Use this book."
–Chris Vitiello

From (nevertheless enjoyment...

in a forkful of mussel)

Fed across the table. Speared then carried—an idea—to my mouth. Someone else would let the sauce drip, or push the whole plate instead. Behind your gesture is a humid landscape punctured by verdigris spires and cars going all to hell. There are women older than their mothers were when first babies were born, and men content at last with second wives. Behind your gesture is a small town. Its inhabitants arrive in the telltale raiments of a posse, and they love to tell you what to do. How to prepare an egg. Where to put your stubborn appetite for affection.

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