Nothing is pure or sacred in Muzzle Thyself. If it hasn’t rubbed up against something or isn’t sweating, it’s of little concern to Lauren Fairbanks. Literary fragments, “found materials,” are organized in such a way as to appear unliterary. The narrative line breaks with authorial intrusion and other modes of interruption. Most poems end with a slammed door or a punch line. Muzzle Thyself is not lofty or nice, but it has juice. It’s a created world, a world reflecting one mind. The creation is complexly unrealistic, filled with humor, rubbish, and ambiguous information.
Fairbanks is not looking for a momentary stay against confusion; instead, she revels in life’s chaos. Her poems are a celebration of what passes for life: fistfuls of glitter and noise in the street. The emphasis is on the page: words on paper. Period. The content should surprise. Rather than what “they” want to hear (William Carlos Williams said), “Tell them something else.”