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I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl is film noir set in verse, each poem a miniature crime scene with its own set of clues—frosted eye-shadow, a pistol under a horse’s eye, dripping window units, an aneurysm opening its lethal trap. In otherworldly vignettes, 1994 pairs the unreliable narration of Jacob’s Ladder (with its questions of identity and shifting realities)I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl is film noir set in verse, each poem a miniature crime scene with its own set of clues—frosted eye-shadow, a pistol under a horse’s eye, dripping window units, an aneurysm opening its lethal trap. In otherworldly vignettes, 1994 pairs the unreliable narration of Jacob’s Ladder (with its questions of identity and shifting realities) with the microscopic compulsiveness of Einstein’s Dreams. The book’s sense of hypnotic premeditation brings Donnie Darko to mind as well, as poem after poem scatters the breadcrumbs of a murder mystery leading us further away from the present self and deeper into the past. I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl is an astounding debut collection that will crawl under your skin and stay there."I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl is a remarkable book. It is innovative, original, unprecedented, and, at the same time, its originality and innovation are predicated on a passionate, even obsessive relationship with the past."—Lynn Emanuel...

Title : I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl: Poems
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781932511765
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 74 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl: Poems Reviews

  • Farren
    2019-03-08 13:37

    This is not a noir murder mystery. This is a book about the peculiar loathing of and desire to murder the childhood self. The narrative reality and chronological progression is fractured--the poems surface in just the same way that thoughts and memories do, in an unpredictable associative progression. Childhood, puberty, sexual violence, fake wood-paneled rec rooms, slumber parties, panties, dead horses. This book activated all kinds of mewling childhood memories. Will have to re-read and re-read and re-read.

  • Wendi Lee
    2019-03-19 20:36

    There is something unsettling and disturbing about this aptly named poetry collection, I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl. There is intense self-loathing and scrutiny in almost every stanza, with the threat of violence thrumming beneath the surface. Sexual violence, child abuse, family members who cannot be found or are there physically, but nothing more. I can't say I enjoyed reading this collection, but there was certainly something very compelling about these poems as they draw you further and further backwards in time.

  • Nate Slawson
    2019-03-22 18:48

    A cover-to-cover read, for real. Sit yr ass down & get lost. Fuckin do it.

  • Matt
    2019-03-06 21:30

    This book really is as tasty and interesting as the reviewers say: a collection of poems that seem to sketch out a coherent centered narrative (young woman is sexually abused, and this experience darkens her subsequent life, even to the point of contemplating the title act), it is a lot more than a strictly realistic and harrowing journey-- someone called it a noir, and while I'm not altogether ready to go there, I do think there's sufficient distance here to make something artful out of the abuse sequences-- the simple truth is that the scenes recorded here are ghastly and hard to read, but there's an apparatus around them, the shifting time sequences and just the writing itself, that makes it possible to read this without wanting to die yourself. It's quite an accomplishment.Another stylistic note is that many of the poems here are printed in columns, you know the style: there are two columns of phrases, so that you can read the poem left to write, or top to bottom and then top to bottom again. I've always had a hard time with that structure-- as a prose writer, it kind of annoys me (usually) and rarely seems to work. Here, it seemed well-suited to the structure, especially when you think of the events recorded as being those that either you can read and understand a couple different ways, or else those that you can get lost in, trapped, and unsure how to finish with.... The same effect, less pronounced, occurs when poems feature italicized interruptions that can be read either in the same voice as the non-italicized lines or as a separate text. Really, throughout this text is formally inventive and at the same time really satisfying on the level of a more traditional, if ugly, narrative. An excellent collection of challenging poems.

  • Jim
    2019-02-25 18:26

    Really enjoyed how an examination of one's past is presented as a haunting, with the past haunting the author ("she wants me back in the cul-de-sac badlands") and then vice versa ("the rhinestone tiara retracted its claws"). Visceral and strange. I started this collection a number of times before I set it down to write something of my own, usually something about acid. (It's that kind of a book.) Very odd to stumble upon the poem "The Woods Are Calling But I Go To A Sleepover" in 2015 with the sleepover murder in Wisconsin in the news, but after a Google search it seems there is always a sleepover murder in the news. There's a weird feeling of dual consciousness at play in the poems that is unsettling and wise, an anti-academic kind of layering that I really like. I've ben exploring the notion that the past of a fictional construct is always another character, one that torments rather than explains. This is a great example of that notion. I wasn't always crazy about the way the lines are arranged on the page, they seem to frustrate the reading experience, but what do I know? For me a paragraph is perfection.

  • Michelle
    2019-03-17 16:33

    It seems like there are a number of new books by younger poets who engage with adolescence in an oblique virgin suicides meets-twin peaks meets- rainbows, rollerskates and unicorns-meets lolita type darkness. My impression is that these books are influenced by the "gurlesque," but I'm not sure if they are "gurlesque" poets. At any rate, I'm hoping to check them out.

  • Anya
    2019-03-02 21:31

    Okay, first thought upon reading the title- This certainly must be about Courtney Love because you know, haters gonna hate and whine about how she killed Kurt and blahlalala (actually, whenever I read/hear 1994, it kind of triggers Nirvana related thought processes). So yeah, I know I am rambling. :o

  • jenni
    2019-03-11 13:40

    for me, mcglynn is a lyricist of poetic opulence, but much to my dismay I had difficulty connecting with this piece on my first read. gutsy and nearing self-indulgent in its form, I regretfully just didn't have enough time to spend with it. her anomalous verses need time to marinate, and while a few of the poems suction-cupped their exceptional odes over my eyes, I still felt I was doing a disservice to her overall prowess by rushing through in order to meet its due date. this one is heavily deserving an intimate re-read.

  • Laurel L. Perez
    2019-03-22 15:39

    I finished this collection the other day, but I've been trying to find the words to review it. I'd like to quote Goodreads reviewer Farren to being:"This is not a noir murder mystery. This is a book about the peculiar loathing of and desire to murder the childhood self. The narrative reality and chronological progression is fractured--the poems surface in just the same way that thoughts and memories do, in an unpredictable associative progression. Childhood, puberty, sexual violence, fake wood-paneled rec rooms, slumber parties, panties, dead horses. This book activated all kinds of mewling childhood memories. Will have to re-read and re-read and re-read."A stylistic note is that many of the poems here are printed in columns, you know the style: there are two columns of phrases, so that you can read the poem left to write, or top to bottom and then top to bottom again. McGlynn’s poetic eyes are split: one serving as photographer, while the other acts as profiler, so that we are witness to what occurs within, and beyond, the frame. Working in a lyrical investigative mode, often using a columnar fragmentation. Needless to say, this is an intriguing work that can be read a few times, and more is likely to unfurl.

  • Robert Beveridge
    2019-03-01 15:47

    Karina McGlynn, I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl (Sarabande Books, 2009)“I wake up somewhere in Ohio. Or, that's how it smells—“While much is made of the first sentences of novels, no one really thinks all that much about first lines in a book of poetry. Maybe because a book of poetry is a collection, rather than a single work, in many cases. (And I bet half of you who can recite a single first line of a poem can do it from a book-length work, either Inferno, Paradise Lost, or Canterbury Tales. The rest of you... a Shakespeare sonnet. But you are in the way of my point, so clam up for the next four minutes, please.) But the first line of Karina McGlynn's I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl is such a slap in the face you can't help but think “here is someone who thought about it.” Which is pretty awesome. And so's the rest of the book. The poem that supplies us that wonderful first line continues...“There's a phone in my hand, I'm thirty years old. No, the phone's thirty years old. It's memory's been erased.I'm naked but for one of those hollowed scarves.It keeps peeling off like a seedpod.I'm afraid my sense will fall out,get lost in the snow and make more of me.”(“Ok, but you haven't seen the last of me”)...and you know, I could spend the rest of this review quoting that poem and this book would sell itself, because it's that good. Someone (can't remember who, book's back at the library) blurbed it as being noir, and I can see where she's coming from. There's a definite noir sensibility here, what a friend of mine recently described as “the dark side of existential exploration”, the feeling of nihilism that comes with knowing from the first frame of the film, or the first page of the book, that your protagonist is going to be swinging from a rope by the end. But—and I rush to note that this may just be in my head—when I hear noir, I tend to think plot and structure, and had it in my head going into this book that it was a thematic collection or a poem cycle (or god help us a “verse novel”). In case your mind works the same way as mine, I point out that such is not the case. There are relations, naturally, as there are in any poet's work, but there's not a story arc or the like. There are just poems, and they are the best poems I have read since I first discovered Richard Siken four years ago. (Yes, I have given five-star reviews to poetry books in the interim. Yes, there are grades of five-starri-ness.) They're unwashed and they're dirty and they're a little feral and they're unconscionably sexy, within the framework that if you find yourself in bed with them they're as likely to bite a chunk out of your arm as to allow you access. This is a book that doesn't like you. I mean actively doesn't like you. And it's all the more alluring for it. The best book I've read so far in 2011, hands down. *****

  • Simone
    2019-03-08 19:51

    I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl’s anthem could be “there is so much I want to prevent” and so the poems run interference between the living and the dead, and like the multi-faced, clairvoyant speaker who is both breathing and buried, so McGlynn’s poetic eyes are split: one serving as photographer, while the other acts as profiler, so that we are witness to what occurs within, and beyond, the frame. Working in a lyrical investigative mode, often using a columnar fragmentation, in which the work appears as vertical belts along the page, the poems are concurrently singular and dialogical. For McGlynn, every innocuous object has an ominous counterpoint—the bed as operating table; a farmhouse for egg production as killing site; panties as childhood emblem and crime-scene evidence; exposure as photographic process and life-threatening condition. These poems, ravenous and ravishing, debone everything in sight, and what a sight it is—a rose hung on a hook like rapist bait; water so moss-viscous it appears as Prell; radioactive fish; piss in a glass; and Christmas crèche. While her book documents various defacements and violations, ultimately the work highlights volition and reconstruction. McGlynn’s book exhibits such spark and voracity it feels channeled instead of penned; and though it may knock us slant into the pitch, it is lit with luminol, liberating what is hidden, and in the process, illuminating and transforming us.

  • Marci
    2019-03-22 19:28

    This book is like a Bible. I plan to leave it in my nightstand drawer and pull it out when I need a sense of existential awarenss; for that is my religion and so this book suites me. I have had it on my 'currently reading' list for quite some time because I am never really done. But alas I have decided to do some housekeeping and so am moving it to my read list. However, even though I have read it cover to cover (a few times) I don't feel like I'm done. All these hidden gems and the writing...! Ok, so my favorites were; The Woman who stepped from the Black Lincoln; I Show up Twelve Years Late for Curfew; Where there is a Plant Stand, There Isn't; and it's almost become cliche but, A Red Tricycle in the Belly of a Poolis also very good. I did enjoy the entire book. These are just a few exaples of the poems that struck a specific chord with me.

  • D.A.
    2019-02-28 19:34

    Okay, I know I rave about a lot of books. But I only really write about books that are worth reading a second or third or eighth time. And this book truly is worth raving about.This poet is edgy without being distant from the edge. She's formally innovative, though sometimes frankly I find the formal choices distracting. But that's probably the pot calling the pot a pot. She has a keen ear and a keen eye; she drops you into the middle of the poem's logic and reality, and it holds. This is one of the most kinetic, dangerous, original books I've read it a long time. Whereas Rilke says in a poem "You must change your life," McGlynn simply makes it known

  • Lee
    2019-03-08 19:51

    First book I picked up as an example of "gurlesque." Rough and driven as a collection, lots of deliberate narrative vertigo; still hard to pick out a single poem that has the power to hint at the general effect of the collection together. Guess I'll have to hope the people I recommend it to are ready to read the whole book.

  • Juliet
    2019-03-10 14:47

    My long review of this darkly delicious poetry book can now be read online in the lastest issue of Gently Read Lit.-- http://gentlyread.wordpress.com/2010/...

  • Ashley
    2019-02-28 19:35

    I'm not a poetry person but I appreciate this collection and the story its telling.

  • Brianna
    2019-03-19 16:48

    This title was suggested to me by my Stand Up Poetry professor when I asked him if there were other things outside of our anthology that I should be reading. Because of the recommend-er, I figured that the subject matter would be humorous. Judging the book by its cover, I realized that I was mistaken.(Brianna enters her local library and retrieves her poetry books from the inter-library loan shelves. On top of her pile is a book of poetry by Karyna McGlynn. She slides her stack of books onto the check-out counter.)Brianna: (rain-soaked but cheery, carrying a large duffel bag) I'd like to check out these books, please!(Librarian, who knows Brianna, looks at the cover and the title of the book on top of her stack and gives her a look that says something along the lines of, "Trying to tell me something, Brianna? Is this a confession?")Brianna: (realizing what the look must be about) Oh! I've been writing a poem a day since September, so I needed more poetry to read.Librarian: (raises his eyebrows) Good for you, Brianna. But you know copying poems from here doesn't count...(Brianna chuckles nervously and stuffs the books in her duffel, leaving the library hastily.)I have no intention of copying poems out of this book, but I had hoped I could use it as some sort of inspiration. On a whole, this book is nothing that I had expected. Significantly darker and more sexually charged than I would have expected, Kill a Girl is a fascinating read.

  • Helen
    2019-03-11 13:36

    Modern poetry has been following this trend for awhile, where lines are written in columns, as if in a newspaper, or concretely, or adding lots of space between words and phrases. Sometimes this works. Sometimes it adds something to the meaning of the poem. And sometimes it's awful, it makes no sense artistically, and muddies up the meaning poetically. In Karyna McGlynn's "I Have to Go Back..." we get a little bit of both. The book contains poems that follow a more traditional form of blank verse as well, with steady line breaks, no rhyme of course, but you can follow it all the way through. These, again, work in some places, and not so much in others. The underlying theme of the book seems to follow a Noir sensibility, these are dark, violent, and not very uplifting poems. Which is okay. There's room in the world for poems that aren't all hearts and flowers. But the thing that started to get under my skin, and not in a good way, was the fact that all of the violence within is geared toward women. Women raping and murdering women. Men raping and murdering women. At about page fifty or so, it began to feel a little exploitative and sensationalist. There is a point where you say okay. Enough vagina metaphors. Please. But there is also a dark beauty here. And quiet sadness, under the violent anger. Sometimes it's good to cleanse the pallet with something that stings going down, and McGlynn's book does just that. A good book to read once and then put away for a very long time.

  • Katie
    2019-03-16 18:41

    Not sure what to say about this book. It has a great title! Unfortunately it didn't meet my expectations. I guess I was expecting a book of poems that created a story from the title. Maybe it was just me, but these were the most frustrating poems. Maybe they are what other have called "innovative." To me they were just plain frustrating. Don't get me wrong, I love abstract poetry. What I don't love is poems in a format that you HAVE TO read them forward, backward, sideways and skip lines to understand how they flow. To me that was d*mn irritating. kind of like writing a poem then putting the lines in a blender and randomly spitting them out on the page for the reader to figure out what order the lines should go in. At least it was a great title which has gotten me thinking about a plot for my next book.

  • Michael
    2019-02-23 21:46

    This poetry had some brilliant lines, and some clever experimentation, but ultimately, I had no idea what was going on. (!) This is not something I enjoy in my poetry, although perhaps others do.I would give you some of my favorite quotes, but it was a hard book to find, and I spent $3 just borrowing it from an out-of-town library and had to return it, and I don't want to do that again. My personal rating was 2 stars but I did bump it up to 3 stars based on the notion that this author seems to be doing a few things that are too clever for me to understand. And though I didn't get it, I could still sense it hidden in the passages somewhere. So I think there are some interesting things in here for those of you brilliant enough, or in tune enough, to understand it.

  • Karen
    2019-03-17 16:28

    As Lynn Emanuel says in her introduction, "To be a reader of I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl is to be a time traveler." Karyna McGlynn's collection of poetry tells a story -- but not in a traditional sense of clear beginnings and absolute endings. Instead, her book leaves the reader with a clear picture of the crime, yet surreal, almost fuzzy images of the victims and the criminals. I have to admit that I have read the book twice, and I still don't have all the answers to the questions that McGlynn's poems ask. But that's okay. Poems such as "I Show Up Twelve Years Late for Curfew" left me so chilled I couldn't get warm. Yet, I find myself coming back for more.

  • Natalie
    2019-03-09 15:29

    Noir poetry. Something I don't liked mixed with something I do. So, not quite chocolate in my peanut butter. Maybe anise in my creme brulee? In any case, the noir worked for me in this slim volume of poetry. The depictions of death were... well, would it be redundant of me to say poetic? Everything was very immediate, yet distant; full of life yet all shades of gray. First person, once removed, I'd say, if I'm going to be making things up. It wasn't "I" and it certainly wasn't "you" nor "she." It wasn't even anything between "I" and the other options. It was "I," but not. Which made it really great.

  • Craig
    2019-03-05 18:49

    I'm just not sure what to say about this collection. I was absolutely fascinated with the multi column poems - particularly the early ones. The fact that you can read each piece several ways obviously took a lot of revision and several of them seem brilliant. However, I just felt that a lot of the poetry in the book came off as flat (and in my opinion,) poor poetry. I really hate to say that, but I was just incredibly underwhelmed with a lot of the book. It didn't feel like a cohesive collection to me. Still, it managed 3 stars because the good outweighed the bad.

  • Margo R
    2019-03-24 16:27

    I feel like poetry is very often a hit-or-miss kind of thing. Karyna McGlynn's poems are well-crafted, but just not the kind of poetry that I enjoy. So I feel kinda bad giving this book a two star rating, because while I didn't really enjoy it, people with different preferences definitely will. Side note: the two-column poems, and the ones where she experiments with spacing, are very interesting from a craft standpoint. Those where the ones that I enjoyed the most, because of the novelty of what she was doing.

  • Liam Guilar
    2019-03-07 14:42

    While reading this I couldn't get Selima Hill's 'Bunny" out of my head and the comparison did not favor this book. Hill's book is disturbing, and a model of suggestion and striking images and lines. This one does typography to signal "Experimental" or 'innovative" without ever doing anything that hasn't been done before and done better. The introduction tries to make a case, but gets lost in its own contradictions. Great title though. Made me buy the book

  • Aaron
    2019-03-13 18:49

    A very interesting work. Very "Donnie Darko"-esque. It's moving, the way she wants to destroy her childhood, warn it, make it better. The form she employs takes risks and is original, letting language do most of the work; however, this might repel newbies to poetry, making them feel that too much is being left unsaid/unexplained since it's so fractured. Overall though, a good book.Favorite Poem: Glass Backlog

  • Maggie
    2019-03-12 19:47

    I've never read a book quite like this one. Highly surreal, taut, and associative, "I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl," was a wild ride through the varied landscape of the surreal and the violent. I loved McGlynn's careful disregard of sense-making in favor of the emotive--in her world, as in this one, being a girl is inherently dangerous.

  • Michael Brockley
    2019-03-02 13:48

    I Have to ago Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl by Karyna McGlynn is better than this reader. Each of the cryptic poems in the book contain clues with suggestions of family violence and a lesbian relationship that either went bad or was salvaged. This book warrants re-reading. Maybe during the two weeks leading up to Halloween.

  • Molly
    2019-03-03 16:53

    bangs like birds' nests (11)there were spiders hatching inside her mattress / we said that's not what's hatching (49)The AC slowly began / to play Suck & Blow (65)poem to use for writing exercise (a call & response):"When I Came to There Was a Pearl and a Fish Hook" (20/21)loved the voice / the humor in:"Would You Like Me to Walk Your Baby?" (36)

  • khatch
    2019-03-04 21:45

    i wasn't superduper into the narrative/mystery/setting (as the intro seems to be, all talking about autobiography and shiz) but i dug the voice and i reallydug the poem "would you like me to walk your baby." it ends: "my enormous breasts, my pointy, pointy shoes" which really is just heavenly. this book makes me look forward to her next book.