Perhaps one of the most lingering and ecstatic effects of reading The Haunted Houseis that it reminds the reader what it used to feel like to really spend time with people. So much of contemporary communication is rooted in trying to maintain sudden and constant contact with as many people as possible, to shout through phones across the country to one another in crowded elevators, to type something witty or wise or exasperated onto a white space and hit the enter key to broadcast “status”, to sing like a bird into space, awaiting echoes. Crawford, in poem after poem, recreates the intimate, curiosity-driven experience of becoming friends, and of becoming one’s own person. She dials you up on a pink land-line with a hologram sticker. Her language is simple and direct, unearthing the strange and necessary tactile details we are so deprived of in electronic clutter: Crawford's “plastic cherry perfume pours up the eaves and out the windows. She shows "how a blue rose glows.”
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