Review of Belly

“Belly, by Kamala Sankaram, dove deeper into the realm of the vulnerably personal. In this piece, Sankaram unpacks and explores the discomfort in her own skin that she experienced from an early age by excavating the aggressions, both micro- and macro-, that have entered her orbit from youth to adulthood. The result is a vast collage of not-so-easy listening, followed by feelings of empathy. Similar to Tactile, one line of text was repeated, imitating the broken-record sensation of an anxious or injured psyche: “Kind of invisible/Let’s see/Front and back/Nice rack/Belly.” Gookin swarmed around sickly intervals, reminiscent of Luciano Berio’s Sequenza XIV, and lay into crunch tones that exploded into jabs and rebounded into shimmers. Structural references to the three medieval humors of blood (excitement), yellow bile (anger), and black bile (melancholy) gave the piece a visceral feel.”