This remarkably intelligent
and original first collection of poems is Not A Balancing Act
because language can only supply an imaginary point, so that it must
be delivered up
with a sense of failure: a name which cannot reach its object. Images
are so rapidly
replaced that even the most concrete of them tremble as language
draws the physical
into the abstract or abandons the abstract to a richly musical, emotional
The halting rhythm and fragmentary lines make for extreme tension
as they push the
female body toward violence. The feminine subject, intent on negating
of self and other, male and female, subject and object, favors and
self acts upon self, punishing, loving, and captured in language.
Needell lives in New York City. This is her first book.
"In Needell, it is the flesh that is the chief perfomer... she
manages to fill this
fragmented form with a fresh ecstasy, by perpetually creating new
language and what seems to lie beyond it. In some cases, the beyond
of the body is
that same body aware of the past, present, and future of its own motions."
--Leonard Schwartz, Poetry Flash