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Rated: E · Critique · Opinion · #2122112
A review for Rising Stars
The front: a deep dark pink glossy of a girl with four legs on a chair. The head is invisible, cut-off frame by the neck. She wears an eclectic robe and shows two real legs, socks up to the knees & two doll’s legs socks up to the knees. An intriguing portrait!

The back: “A richly improvisational poetry collection that leads readers through a gallery of incisive and beguiling portraits and landscapes”- Pulitzer Prize finalist citation.

“These poems feel driven by a fury for correction: romantic ideal is delusion, the charisma of the poete maudit a huckster’s sham.” Dana Levin.

“This book is a wise, wild, continuous gift.” Terrance Hayes

“I love everything about these poems. The sound and flurry of them. Their acute, irresistible, female intelligence. Their associative, sometimes hallucinatory swoops. Their infectious, irrepressible, sensual momentum. Their hypersensitive reverence for blazing detail you can’t shake off.” Amy Gerstler.

This volume is the first I bought in many years of a modern poet so my expectations are high, very high. 73 pages with 5 chapters and 10, 9, 9, 9, and 8 poems.

The first poem ‘Jump rope song’ ends with:

Costumes for canaries, for lovebirds, apron for dolls, all
lined up under the mock orange tree, and where is the girl serving
buttermilk in thimbles, is the girl in the blossomhouse gone?

And I am asking myself, what just happened? What did I read, what did I experience with sentences like: “Born like milk and dies like butter, like batter after you add the eggs,” ? I have no clue at all, but it’s thrilling, it’s strange and it’s refreshing. I have to continue reading out loud.

Real raw like, blog posts that have nothing to do with poetry? Or has it? But everything a poet writes is poetry in a way. What about a sentence like: “My bed was cold back then, and I was cold in it.” From Long, long ago I smoked in bed, p.25. It’s immediate, it’s beautiful and it reaches out to me.

I love her style.

Take Page 40, for example:

Take it a word at a time

A phrase:
washed away

An image:
your pointed smile was tinged with the sadness
of a great love for me

A city:

A hemorrhage:
I’ll live a lush life in some small dive
And there I’ll be while I rot with the rest
Of those whose lives are lonely too

And a shot glass half-filled with music.

It’s beautiful, recognizable and a manual for interpreting her work? Is it poetry? I vote yes!!

I would recommend this book to anyone with an inquisitive mind and a good nose for what is fresh and lively.

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