Brand: as in a mark. Branded: as in burned on an animal, a criminal, someone enslaved. Branding: as in a trademarking, a commodification. In Laura Madeline Wiseman’s terrifying Branding Girls , the poet demonstrates that our femininity is defined by advertising, name brands, and material desires. From the figure of the Japanese “elevator girls,” we learn that contemporary women are in danger of becoming a series of negations: ‘Not geisha. Not madams… / Not call girls / or masseuses. Not school girls / in pleated skirts.’ I love this collection for the same reasons I love TV’s “Mad Men”: its elegance, its dark humor, and its pain.
– Jehanne Dubrow