PLAN/K by Kristi Maxwell is HERE!
by Jen Tynes
“Following in a long line of acts of piracy by women writers (Kathy Acker’s Pussy, King of the Pirates), Kristi Maxwell proves herself a masterful ventriloquist. Slipping her hand into through a card game (Royalty), a children’s book, historical documents on sea pirates, and Treasure Island, Maxwell speaks, strikes, through double entendres, puns, homonyms, and jokes—all the devices scorned by the “original” pirates of linguistic, cultural and political power. Plan/k—not only Dickinson’s plank but also Maxwell’s (and Kafka’s) plan K (plans A-J always go awry)– engenders alternate subtexts , defrock priests and denude emperors: “[‘where are your manners’ ‘where are your manners’ ‘inflected’ ‘infected’ ‘affected’]) but reads as a He by her mother’s (Design / Deceit [by her knowing the Signs by which a Pete is Mister-ed and Sir-ed (Served vs. Serfed)]).]” Meaning radiates in all directions , refusing and submitting to the lure of narrative, the drive to annex: ““Frontier Thesis[:] […] Turner’s funda(men)tal orientation [turner] to the land.” Though Maxwell sets sail with the infamous pirate(ss) Mary Read, Plan/K is less a “whole lotion to cross” than perpetual Brownian motion in the Petri dish of culture, a nervous twitching of semantic, syntactical and grammatical categories. It is also a book sounding the bottoms: “’Gen-Hur on a cherry-it a char[ge]iot (c [as see]-h[e]r-riot!) Mary Read, the woman compelled by her mother to deceive in order to live: ‘[Mary Read has no Reed (read: Penis; read: Man-Oar).” Oar-less, Maxwelltakes a leap–is pushed from the plan/k. And adventure begins.”