SNATCH, by Judy MacInnes Jr. (Anvil Press), 100 pages, $12.95 paper, includes CD. Rating: NNN
Open the pages of Snatch and you'll find girlhood bestest friends, bonnie bell lipsmacker and chomping vaginas -- just the sort of things you'd expect to litter the first creepy collection of pseudo-poems by Surrey grrrl Judy MacInnes.
The ironic tone is set immediately and beautifully when MacInnes dedicates the book to her loved ones and, of course, Anne Murray. She then quickly delves into celluloid 1970s moments of bitter girl humour like Jill Started Shaving -- where, after some tragic mishaps, rules about hair removal are enforced at school assembly (i.e., no more sleepovers.)
Subtly sexy MacInnes slips deftly between past and present, and brings her lilting, clean voice into modern-day pieces like the subtly sexy Shimmering Strip or sweet lovey turns like Luv Junket, where she calls the sounds of lovemaking as embarrassing as "sugar butter sandwiches."
MacInnes is at her strongest when, in typical zine style, she infuses the debris of everyday life with poignancy. But her strength in finding the meaningful in the dull is sometimes her downfall. Some mundane things are, well, simply mundane.
Perhaps in honour of the poetry slam wave (or maybe she just wants to be a DJ), Snatch includes a CD of performances of selections from the book, often with background music.
In some cases it's a good addition, particularly when the rhythms lend themselves more to being heard than read. But live poetry, albeit on a CD, can also offer overwrought readings trying to be ironic and understated from people who definitely went to theatre school and don't want you to forget it.
A 20-something Lynn Crosbie she's not, but MacInnes's fusion of pop and poignant is worth a good look.