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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 20: 15 Sept. 2023
Micro-Review: 331 words
By Jude Dillon

Triggered: A Pillow Book

Writing by Alexis Rhone Fancher, with art by Kenna Barradell

These poems aren’t really about sex. They’re about love, and how hard and often impossible it is, to get it. There is often a break from sexual description. There’s supposed to be. And it can be funny. It indicates that the poet isn’t getting what or who she really wants. Like a special someone, who sees into her soul and likes what they see. This is, for want of a better term, Existential Erotica. Perhaps a new genre, created by Alexis?

But there is fun in all the sexual details. Like a good meal bountifully presented. But where do we go, after we eat? What’s left except finding someone else to go through the same exercises, but with a new twist? I find her humour well understated and yet intense. The deal she offers God for example ... “Nothing’s off limits. See where it ends.” One important goal for the poet seems to be equality with her partners. But why is this so hard?

The writing? It’s hard, it’s clear, and it’s funny. The poems circle each other in a wayward search for love. A relentless quest. The humour is their saving grace. The poet wants to be reached and understood, but on her own level. There are glimmers of this. There are points taken. There is something unbearable being endured. Maybe that’s a key to the poems.

Kenna’s intuitive approach with colour and form adds a visual drama to the poems. She captures the humour and some of the vulnerability. The Adulation of Angelica is an ironic painting depicting raw sexual poses. All the figures have halos! She captures the vulnerability with another painting of Alexis, naked (All Poets Are Naked), reading to seven other naked figures, listening. The nakedness is something the poet faces with her clothes on or off ... and so do the listeners if they are really taking in what’s being put across....   Teaser cover of Triggered (in brown wrapper), by Alexis Rhone Fancher
Triggered: A Pillow Book *
Available in November at Amazon
Sneak peek: Tongue and Groove


* Triggered: A Pillow Book is a very naughty hybrid chapbook filled with inappropriate poems, flash fiction, and visual art guaranteed to trigger your inner vamp. A three-way between Mojave Desert poet & photographer Alexis Rhone Fancher, Vancouver (BC) artist Kenna Barradell, and NC editor & publisher Clare MacQueen, this collaboration demolishes boundaries and honors the fierce goddess in us all.

Jude Dillon
Issue 20 (September 2023)

is an award-winning news photographer and poet who lives in Calgary (Alberta, Canada). His work is published in magazines online and in print throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe. He has published three collections of poetry: Blue Noir; Happy There In My Agony; and The Fractured Garden. He also studied painting at the Alberta College of Art and Design.

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