ABOUT THIS BOOK
As restless, reckless, and precise as the Colt revolver for which it is named, Robyn Schiff’s Revolver “repeats fire without reloading” as it reckons with the array of foreboding objects displayed at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and the traces of their ghosts one hundred years later.
A dirge on the Singer Sewing Machine, an exuberant and unnerving rumination on multipurpose campaign furniture, and a breathless account of Ralph Lauren’s silver Porsche 550 Spyder are among the collection’s exhilarating corporate histories, urgent fantasias, and agonizing love poems. The long, lavish, and utterly unpredictable sentences that Schiff has assembled contort as much to discover what can’t be contained as what can.
This is a book of extremes relentlessly contemporary in scope. And like the eighty-blade sportsman’s knife also described here, Revolver keeps opening and reopening to the daunting possibilities of transformation—“Splayed it is a bouquet of all the ways a point mutates.”
from “Silverware by J. A. Henckels”
Let me be
as streamlined as my knife when I say this.
As cold as my three-pronged fork that
cools the meat even as it steadies it.
A pettiness in me was honed
in this cutlers’ town, later bombed,
in which Adolf Eichmann, who was born there
alongside my wedding pattern, could hear
the constant sharpening of knives
like some children hear the corn in their hometowns
talking to them through the wind.
The horizon is just the score they breathe through
like a box of chickens
breathing through a slit.