I Love It Though

Alli Warren. Nightboat, $15.95 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-937658-60-1
With “one foot in the office the other lolling/ about the field,” Warren (Here Come the Warm Jets) probes at what “lies between/ want and need.” Amid the comforting concreteness of fact and the energetic forces of dream and instinct, Warren sings “of something that cannot speak/ its name though its signature is everywhere.” Her poems are lean and energetic—most do not exceed a page—but they can be slippery and bewildering in their tight-packed complexity. In “A Better Way to Zone,” for instance, she instructs the tide to “bring some/ little green thing to dust/ behind my eyes// Touch the hotpoint/ and drag the tongue/ over the fat belly/ of a flapping fish.” Warren directs her aptitude for rhyme and aural texture to conveying the shape and expression of human desire (“we have nothing/ between gasps/ of great need”), as well as the political structures that have evolved through these hungers: given the tendency of borders to “burst open under their/ propensity for feasting,” Warren encourages readers to “embrace your finitude/ as the end of accumulation.” (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/20/2017
Release date: 03/01/2017
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