Within Mutiny

Holms Troelstrup

Spring 2013 | 96 pages

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The poems of Holms Troelstrup's debut collection Within Mutiny interrogate the gestation of loss within all embodied beings. In these poems, specific moments, plants, lovers, the unborn, and even cities grow intertwined with the self, mapping an interior—its emotional web of languages, surfaces, and memories. And yet, despite keen observation and our best efforts, nothing can be kept, and despite our reaching, nothing held. Troelstrup's poems reveal that, in their particular time, all beings are damned ever to ache, are sentenced eternally to hope.

In this astonishing debut Holms Troelstrup wants to eat you alive—to “cull the silence that 'empty' smears over / those intermissions” not because she fears the still or the vacant but because she knows such states don't exist: inside every sentence, every womb, every limb is a phoneme, distance, or skin whose “quickening” compels this poet ever-closer: “where does breaking end” she asks, as she must, because within mutiny one discovers not liberation but “this mimicking thing of my own”—an irrepressible, urgent irreverence un/bound by love's capacity to miscarry even its own “you-turn.”
—Kirstin Hotelling Zona, editor of SRPR (Spoon River Poetry Review)

A potent and ingenious cross between Jean Valentine and Paul Celan, Holms Troelstrup debuts with one of the most moving studies of the phenomenology of embodiment I've ever read. You will not find, anywhere, invention like this. Dense, polyvalent, and synaesthetic, the invention in these poems renders even the tactile and haptic qualities of this long-lived confusion we endure in this “trough of tissues,” where our irksome, vegetal, and deciduous bodies continue to surprise.
—Gabriel Gudding, author of Rhode Island Notebook

A raw relief, Within Mutiny is for all of us who have had to let go of the one we desperately wanted but couldn't sustain. Troelstrup lets tomorrow alone, lets it be “tosorrow.” She knows como bate el cobre. In abundant drifts and stilted streams, she measures the cost of doing business, of living as a girl/woman/human, the cost of stepping out the door into a city both threat and promise: “your breast exposed cement I gasped at your waiver, your treacherous midnight art, your pillaged alleys so lain in hope.”
—Danielle Pafunda, author of MANHATER