Yellow Silk: Erotic Arts and Letters

Lily Pond, Author, Richard Russo, With Harmony $20 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-57752-3
Bemoaning the lack of erotic American poetry, Mary Mackey, one of the contributors to this volume, asks, ``Are any of those people out on the street corners with drums and shaved heads writing?'' The answer is yes. That's the problem. Too many of the pieces in this collection of poetry, short stories and essays are erotic but hardly literary; they are too loosely organized, too overwrought, too florid and too ambitious. Marge Piercy and Jane Hirshfield rise above the general standard. Otherwise, the best stories are those few with a sense of humor. Lynn Luria Sukenick's mock sex quiz repeats the old joke, `` `Say something dirty.' . . . `The bathroom,' she said.'' As eroticism goes, there's lots of it: in the tub, in the garden, on the window sill, on the banks of the Monongehela, in the afterlife. Although none of the pieces baldly refutes founding editor Pond's claim that Yellow Silk , the magazine that gives its name to this collection, treats sex with dignity, too many selections here ironically illustrate just how hard that is to accomplish. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Paperback - 296 pages - 978-0-517-58736-2
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