Winner of the 2001 New Issues Poetry Prize
Foreword by C. D. Wright
In Household Mechanics, Sarah Mangold’s brilliant and eccentric first book, the story is never fully told but introduced and re-introduced. Line after dislocated line recalls our own attempt to reach the essence of the subject in the only way we know how—by continuously broaching it. Here, overheard conversation, family stories, literary theory, music, and even TV become part of history, the story one tells and retells. By turns playful and acerbic, Mangold reveals the futility of even trying to tell it right: there is no right, says Household Mechanics; there is no end to this, or any, tale.
“Here there is a list and there is a life. A coming of age. Doubt. A taking apart. The dog. The girl scout in the tornado. Good intentions. There is something of Plath in these domestic meditations. Something of Stein. ‘you know you’ve seen that. and mashed potatoes like green waves.'”
“Awareness begins at home, “eye level with the cake,” or so one could infer from Sarah Mangold’s Household Mechanics, a disquieting review of indirect disclosures, internal churnings, and palpable notions, subjected to a tense and skeletal language. She probes, evokes but chooses not to describe or elaborate. She ‘pulls across’ which she distinguishes from ‘associating with.’ The voice is consistent, distant. The sentence is disjointed; the thinking continuous.”
—C.D. Wright, from the Foreword
Sarah Mangold was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and raised in Oklahoma. She received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Oklahoma and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Mangold’s work has been published in Fourteen Hills, Outlet, Tinfish, Ribot, Transfer, as well as in other journals. She currently lives in Seattle, where she publishes Bird Dog, a journal of innovative writing and art (www.birddogmagazine.com).