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Jennifer Moxley's Clampdown captures a time of political despair and self-doubt. Our “so-called common ground” erodes where liberal thought, implicated in the systems it critiques, finds no traction and becomes the site of new divisions. Against the reality of distant wars, everyday pleasures—even love itself—become frayed by anxiety and shame. Likewise, the past and the future prove unstable, both close to oblivion in a “maddeningly quiescent landscape” of winter.
Throughout Clampdown, Moxley responds to the evanescence of both life and art with all her poetic resources, at times declamatory and incisive, at others “freely espousing” and conversational.