Orexia

Lisa Russ Spaar. Persea, $25.95 (96p) ISBN 978-0-89255-477-5
Poet, essayist, and anthologist Spaar (Vanitas, Rough) draws upon the Greek term for “desire” or “appetite,” in a collection that is palpable with hunger for the physical: “Simple to say: there is a gash,// then balm. Admit we love the abyss,/ our mouths sipping it in one another.” Yet Spaar’s poems are not satisfied only by the carnal. “Can a word have soul? How move/ from one to the next without dying?” Spaar asks. And this is what she hungers for, to keep each word as vividly alive in each piece as she can: “Words, words we net with our mouths.” The collection consists almost entirely of poems in couplets, and Spaar arranges them so that they possess surprising echoes, shimmer with texture, and exude intriguing subtexts. In her work, readers smell “summer’s urine-tang in winter leaves” and understand a womb as “all limpid ink.” In Spaar’s supple hands, a dead fawn draws out dental consonants and builds up to a stunning image in the lines, “struck overnight, now turgid,// a tiny table overturned at road’s edge.” Spaar searches for that which eats at us and makes us yearn; and, though she does not offer a definitive answer, she suggests that “true is all we can be:/ rhyming you, rhyming me.” (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/16/2017
Release date: 02/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 96 pages - 978-0-89255-490-4
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