Oh, Maria Tallchief, Ballet Russe
You could not fit a tiny pirouette
within this one small plot of earth unpaved.
I am lonely for every other decade but my own.
[from “The City Rhythm” ©2012]
Roberts’ first collection of poems is a short book that really packs a punch. From “Algonquian Labrodorite” to the “milk in the azure light” the imagery is all at once immediate and out of the past.
“Bombshell Bohemia began years ago in a journal in my back-pocket as I wandered the streets of New York City, a wide-eyed girl from Texas and North Carolina. My exposure to poetry grew from studying Shakespeare at theatre conservatory. Soon I had T.S. Eliot quotes stuck all over my walls. I would read Pablo Neruda on the subway on the way to audition for sitcoms.”
You might recognize Roberts from her acting work on films like Mona Lisa Smile and indie drama, Admissions . “I was always drawn to things theatrical. As a ballet dancer I would picture myself as Juliet or Giselle, these tragic sylphlike beauties. You hear a lot of the Romance Era in my work.”
Indeed the dancer is a theme waltzing through the book. The actress is evident as well, especially in poems like, “Mnemosyne,” whose title is the name of the Greek Goddess of Memory and mother of the nine muses. “Mnemosyne is about a girl looking for her voice in a quiet space. I refer to the ‘unused muse’ as a kind of hell. I think that comes from the need to be chosen as worthy. The subject of the muse as a human person instead of a work of art is a thread that runs through my work.”
Fans of Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickenson are sure to revel in this read, but Roberts references Pablo Neruda’s Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair as a major inspiration. “I recognize that my poems on there own are very dark and even tortured at times. This book is sort of like my Twelve Poems of Despair and a Song of Love.” She laughs.
The poetry is indeed dark and Taylor’s bubbly personality is surprisingly blithe and joyful. Her multi-dimensional persona is evidenced in her acting work as well, considering her upcoming comedy debut on Adult Swim’s Loiter Squad.
With a new book and upcoming tv appearance, Taylor Roberts is showing the world how an Indie Artist can knock the socks off of the mainstream. Bombshell Bohemia, Poetry from the Underground will be available worldwide on April 21st.
Find out where to buy Bombshell Bohemia at www.bombshellbohemia.com
Watch Loiter Squad Sunday nights at 11:30 EST on Adult Swim.
By Laura Curtis Harding, Indie It List