Sunday, March 7, 2021

History of Present Complaint by HLR

History of Present Complaint will undoubtedly, and understandably, draw references to other confessional poets—connections to Anne Sexton and Sylvia Path came to mind as I read through this in one sitting. But what makes HLR’s work stand apart is the uniqueness of her voice. She is operating on a plateau reserved for the innovative. 

HLR structures storytelling in a Kafkaesque manner that spins the reader deep into a cavernous parallax of the narrator’s discordant reality. She builds compassion through repetition and precision of her account. When she all caps the word BLACKOUT multiple times during a particularly traumatic episode, it’s followed by SLEEP, and you long for her to find a little peace from the pain, mental illness, and lack of support from an inefficient health bureaucracy.

HLR offers a vibrant voice, an unforgettable experience, a must read.

3 comments:

Sarah Laurence said...

What a great title! I can see why you'd find this collection compelling.

David Cranmer said...

Its a harrowing account, Sarah, but well worth the dive if you are so inclined.

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