dollop by  Christina Svenson

dollop, the debut poetry collection by Christina Svenson, is perfumed with fantasy, with ennui... with Mugler's Angel.

Drawing inspiration from 19th century cleaning manuals and 1980’s cookbooks, Svenson transgresses etiquette with a pessimism that attempts to reconcile itself through finding beauty and recluse in the absurd. Domestic toil assumes the form of devotional distraction. It is a labor that catalyzes its own appetite, reducing the trope of the housewife to a container, hollow like the salt shaker emptied out over the shoulder and onto the sand.

The immateriality of fantasy itself is consuming —
    it 'can never be held/ that's why it matters/ so much'.

dollop is a fantasy that serves as an inflatable cushion for the inundating solitude that comes with waiting, with being Penelope, with being Lot's wife...  inundating, and so conclusive in its desperate attachment to the always receding edge of the pacific.

“Svenson's first collection of poetry is a whimsical buffet of affect,
with some orange slices for accoutrement. It's a sunny ride through a California landscape, an exploration of growing up and failing liberally. At times both petulant and sweet, dollop presents stark contradictions in a delectable way that feels easy and true. In fact, Svenson proposes feelings that have just as much materiality and gestural force to them ("what constitutes a love bite? as opposed to a regular one?") as her ever-shifting body, her words the heaviness of the tiny bows she places on leaves.

    I have the feeling dollop's narrator would get along with the heroines from the film classic Daisies... I imagine them all eating cream-filled pastries and drinking champagne together while smiling effusively, only presenting fragments of all they understand. As anybody knows, ‘The proof is in the pudding!’

Swaddled and free, the collection feels like a breath of fresh air.”

- Giulia Bencivenga (author of CUD, Unreasonable Whole, and Giulia Bencivenga Is A Maniac)

“dollop wants to pull you all the way to the ocean and you will let it because, unlike fantasy, dollop can be held, and it will hold you with its crystal vision and precise, sideways elegance...” 

- Elaine Kahn (author of Romance, or The End, and Women In Public)

Christina Svenson lives and writes in Oakland, CA.
Her work has appeared in Vice, Slate, Insider, Hobart,
Leste, among others.
Her Twitter handle is @angelbyshaggy.

July 2020
Language: English