082.1: Natalie Shapero:: Four Fights & Arranged Hours
17 October 2011
This is a little embarrassing. The first time I saw Annie Hall I was visiting a friend’s apartment in college. Senior year, actually. I only caught the ending, something about eggs. Years later, I finally watched the film with my girlfriend (perhaps not the best idea) and only after completing the film, dwelling upon all of my failed past relationships, did I happen to look up Woody Allen’s biography on Wikipedia. There was Mia Farrow. There were nude photos. There was Soon-Yi Previn. And here I am, all these years later, reconsidering my anxiety about eggs, about relationships, about the fundamental role of differences in any romance. And I’m grateful to Natalie Shapero for it. In these poems, Shapero slices and dices, mixes and matches. Each portion of the “Four Fights” sequence incorporates dialogue in the form of point and counterpoint. Yet what really carries this sequence is what follows from the simple banter: we get a great deal of revelation from a speaker I imagine is a Freudian condensation of Mia Farrow and Annie Hall, someone who can speak back to the dreariness of a Manhattan scene, the differences between orgasms, the ultimate unfairness of the neurotic playwright getting with an underage girl. Here, beyond the ironic humor, we get pathos.