Starting with lyric statement as a point of interrogation, "e;Fortified Castles"e; asks what might cause retreat into the comforting walls of the self. North American culture is saturated with discourses of self-improvement and self-awareness at the same time it is full of anxiety over the things that separate us. Moving from a stock-ticker tableau of economic and environmental crisis to the difficulty of finding one another in the streets, the poems in "e;Fortified Castles"e; stage impasse after impasse, locating the Western subject between the ramparts it walks and the barricades it throws up.
Composed in three sections, "e;Fortified Castles"e; constructs a complex web of interpersonal disconnection from the anonymous detritus of our self-obsessed neoliberal moment. Written contemporaneously with the 2008 economic crisis, the first section, "e;21st Century Monsters,"e; imagines a number of world-ending scenarios from the collapse of the environment to the collapse of capitalism to the collapse of culture, forming a questioning and questionable primer on the things that terrify us. The second section, "e;Fortified Castles,"e; heavily recombines found material in a lengthy serial collage composed of multiplied and impersonal personal statements that add up in unanticipated ways, cascading in knee-jerk patterns of anxious hand-wringing and stubborn unreasonableness.
Written during the 2011 Occupy protests, the final section, "e;Friendship Is Magic,"e; positions the hopeful connections of that moment beside the privilege rippling through it, interrogating the very real tension between working collectively and living comfortably.